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Few days ago I saw something on TV that was quite surprising. I never thought that something like that is possible. They were talking about some condition called elephantitis. Can you tell me more about it because I find it so interesting?

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I understand when you say that you find it quite interesting. The word elephantitis or elephantiasis is a term for the syndrome of the gross, visible enlargement of the arms, legs or genitals to elephantoid size. There are a few different causes of elephantiasis, but the most responsible for causing elephantiasis are filarial worms. They are white, slender round worms found in most tropical and subtropical places. They are transmitted by particular species of mosquitoes. Infection with these worms over a long period of time can cause elephantiasis. These worms block the body's lymphatic system and causing fluids to collect in the tissues. This leads to great swelling, called lymphedema. Limbs can swell so enormously that they resemble an elephant's foreleg in size, texture, and color which is severely disfiguring and disabling condition of elephantiasis. The drug in treating lymphatic filariasis is diethylcarbamazine or DEC that kills the microfilariae quickly and injures or kills the adult worms slowly, if at all. However, if all adult worms are not killed, remaining paired males and females can continue to produce more larvae. Due to this fact, several courses of DEC treatment may be necessary to rid the individual of the parasites.
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