Insecticide-Treated Bed Nets Eliminate Filariasis Transmission In Study

“Bed nets treated with insecticide are a simple and economical way to eradicate filariasis, a mosquito-born tropical disease that threatens 1.4 billion people worldwide, according to research published Wednesday,” Agence France-Presse/Health24 reports (8/22). The study, published in the latest New England Journal of Medicine, “found that insecticide-treated bed nets reduce transmission of lymphatic filariasis to undetectable levels — even in the absence of additional medication,” a press release from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, published on News Medical, states (8/22). The most common symptom of filariasis infection is elephantiasis, “the massive swelling of skin and tissue,” VOA News notes. “Filariasis is only picked up by mosquitoes late in the evening, so this is the time when people are more likely to be protected by their bed nets. So we found that bed net use actually is a greater barrier against filariasis transmission whereas malaria transmission may still be occurring outside the times when the user is under the net,” lead author Lisa Reimer of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine said, according to the news service. “The WHO estimates that 120 million people suffer from lymphatic filariasis,” VOA notes (Herman, 8/21).

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