Elephantiasis, also known as Lymphatic filariasis is a tropical disease leading to an elephant-like skin swelling of the lower limb and genitals. Infection occurs when filarial parasites ( worms) are transmitted to humans though infected mosquito bites. Infection is usually acquired in childhood causing hidden damage to the lymphatic system. Photo by Tropenmuseum Amsterdam.
The Carter Center Hispaniola team works with the Ministry of Health in the Dominican Republic, and other partners, to conduct a mass drug administration (MDA) to interrupt transmission of lymphatic filariasis (LF), a debilitating disease caused by thin worms transmitted to humans by the bites of mosquitoes in tropical and subtropical regions. The Center is working with the government and partners in Haiti and the Dominican Republic to eliminate both malaria and LF from Hispaniola by 2020.
A young woman with Lymphatic Filariasis or Elephantiasis. Once infected the parasite can cause damage to the lymphatic system which then results in fluid collection and swelling. The most common affected area are the legs, but swelling can also occur in the arms, breasts, and genitalia.