Meet the man who is turning into a real life elephant after being infection with one of the most frightening diseases.
Raimundo, from Sao Jose, in Brazil, was bitten by the mosquito 20 years ago and was infected with Lymphatic filariasis. This parasitic infection is commonly known as Elephantiasis.
According to World Health Organisation, Lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is a neglected tropical disease. Infection occurs when filarial parasites are transmitted to humans through mosquitoes. Infection is usually acquired in childhood causing hidden damage to the lymphatic system.
The painful and profoundly disfiguring visible manifestations of the disease, lymphoedema, elephantiasis and scrotal swelling occur later in life and lead to permanent disability. These patients are not only physically disabled, but suffer mental, social and financial losses contributing to stigma and poverty.
As per the WHO, lymphatic filariasis infection involves asymptomatic, acute, and chronic conditions. The majority of infections are asymptomatic, showing no external signs of infection. These asymptomatic infections still cause damage to the lymphatic system and the kidneys, and alter the body's immune system.
When lymphatic filariasis develops into chronic conditions it leads to lymphoedema (tissue swelling) or elephantiasis (skin/tissue thickening) of limbs and hydrocele (scrotal swelling). Involvement of breasts and genital organs is common. Such body deformities lead to social stigma, as well as financial hardship from loss of income and increased medical expenses. The socioeconomic burdens of isolation and poverty are immense.
According to River Monsters show that is telecasts on Animal Planet, Raimundo has been battling the infection since 20 years and has seen his leg swelled like an elephant.
Raimundo is at present undergoing treatment in Sao Jose Rio Preto.This is the first time he has taken medical help and within a week the clinic has reduce the size of the swelling drastically.
The show host explains how it is very difficult to get elephantiasis in control. Initially Doctors at Cunica Godoy couldn’t even wrap their arms around Raimundo's leg due to the great swelling size.
“Perhaps this is the one I find most frightening because once you've got Elephantiasis it's a life sentence,” says the host.
The infection of Elephantiasis is commonly found in South Asia, Africa,Pacific Islands Central and South America.
Doctors usually use anthelmintic drugs to expel the parasitic worms from the patient's body. However, this cannot be used in this particular case because Raimundo didn’t seek treatment when it happened and hence it can be a life long battle.
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