Prevention & Control

The best way to prevent lymphatic filariasis is to avoid mosquito bites. The mosquitoes that carry the microscopic worms usually bite between the hours of dusk and dawn . If you live in an area with lymphatic filariasis:

  • At night
    • Sleep in an air-conditioned room or
    • Sleep under a mosquito net
  • Between dusk and dawn
    • Wear long sleeves and trousers and
    • Use mosquito repellent on exposed skin.

    Another approach to prevention includes giving entire communities medicine that kills the microscopic worms — and controlling mosquitoes. Annual mass treatment reduces the level of microfilariae in the blood and thus, diminishes transmission of infection. This is the basis of the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis.

    Experts consider that lymphatic filariasis, a  neglected tropical disease (NTD), can be eliminated globally and a global campaign to eliminate lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem is under way. The elimination strategy is based on annual treatment of whole communities with combinations of drugs that kill the microfilariae. As a result of the generous contributions of these drugs by the companies that make them, hundreds of millions of people are being treated each year . Since these drugs also reduce levels of infection with intestinal worms, benefits of treatment extend beyond lymphatic filariasis. Successful campaigns to eliminate lymphatic filariasis have taken place in China and other countries.

    More on: Insect Bite Prevention

Page last reviewed: March 16, 2018