Lymphatic Filariasis

Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is an infection caused by the filarial worms Wucheria bancrofti and Brugia malayii. Over 120 million individuals are infected with LF in Africa, Asia, and in the Americas. Over a billion people are at risk in 73 countries. LF is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. LF infection can lead to permanent disability from swollen limbs and breasts (lymphedema), damage to the genitals (hydrocele) or swollen limbs with thickened, hardened skin (elephantiasis).  Those with severe symptoms of the disease are often unable to work and may suffer significant social stigma as a result of their disfigurement. Many are ostracized or even shunned by those in their communities. The Global Program for the Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF) is the largest mass drug administration effort to date with annual distributions of over 500 million courses of ivermectin and albendazole (lean more on Wikipedia or the CDC website)