Elephantiasis is a painful and deadly disease in which different parts of the body like arms and legs swell in massive proportion. It is basically caused by a parasitic worm called filarial worm which has a size of a human hair. The people from west part of Uganda were diagnosed with the disease and the mystery behind the hilarious spread of disease in this part has been resolved. The researchers claim that long-term exposure to soil minerals caused by walking barefoot have resulted in an outbreak of the disease.
This parasite is present in the lymph nodes of an individual resulting in the accumulation of body fluid which otherwise would be drained by the lymphatic system. The most common form of the disease known as lymphatic filariasis spreads by the mosquito bites which causes swollen limbs thickens the skin causes ulcers and infections.
The people diagnosed with lymphatic filariasis are unable to move around quickly and the disease causes permanent disability.
The mystery behind Elephantiasis occurred in Uganda
The investigation team experts from Uganda Ministry of Health, Makerere University, the World Health Organization and CDC have come together to resolve the mystery. After the study, they observed that farming in the volcanic soil without wearing shoes have resulted in the disease.
The new cases of the disease were seen in the community living at an altitude of 4,000 feet in the foothills of the Kamwenge District. This region has the soil composed of fragmented volcanic rocks. The nutrients present in the soil can penetrate through the skin causing itching, pain, and swelling in some body parts.
The main victim behind the spread of disease is the long-term exposure to volcanic soil that blocks lymphatic tissue and causes swelling.
Out of the total affected people, 52 individuals were detected with another form of the disease known as Podoconiosis.
The results of the study were published on April 10 in the journal The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
What is Podoconiosis and how it can be stopped?
Podoconiosis also was known as filarial elephantiasis is a disease of lymph nodes of lower body parts that are caused by frequent exposure to irritant soil. The early symptoms of the disease are a pain, itching, and swelling.
The disease can be prevented by wearing shoes before exposing yourself to the irritant soil.