Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) caused by microscopic, thread-like worms. The adult worms live in the human lymph system, which maintains the body’s fluid balance and fights infections. LF is spread from person to person by mosquitoes. People with LF can suffer severe, permanent disability. Some are unable to work because of their disability, harming their families and communities. You cannot get infected with LF in the U.S. However, LF continues to pose a health risk in the U.S. territory of American Samoa, and efforts to eliminate the disease are underway.
- Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a parasitic disease caused by three species of microscopic, thread-like worms.
- The disease spreads from person to person by mosquito bites.
- If you live in or travel to an area with lymphatic filariasis, avoiding mosquito bites is the best way to prevent it.
- LF is a neglected tropical disease that causes substantial illness for more than 120 million people globally.
- Neglected tropical diseases are infectious diseases that cause devastating illness for more than 1 billion people.
Avoid mosquito bites. People who live in or travel to an area with lymphatic filariasis should:
- Sleep under a mosquito net
- Wear long sleeves and trousers
- Use mosquito repellent on exposed skin between dusk and dawn.