Know About The Lymphatic Filariasis In India

Filariasis in India

On 13 January 2023, India completed 12 polio-free years – a remarkable achievement that was made as a result of consistent, determined efforts and genuine commitment at all levels. Now, India has set its sight on another disease called Lymphatic Filariasis. This disease is the reason for the condition of Elephantiasis. India is now trying to remove Lymphatic Filariasis from its country.

Know more about Filariasis. 

Filariasis In India

Filariasis in India Map

Filariasis has been a major public health problem in India. The disease was recorded in India as early as 6th century B.C. by the famous Indian physician, Susruta in his book ‘Susruta Samhita’. In India, 99% of infections come from a type of mosquito spreading a type of worm through a mosquito bite. The treatment plan provides 400 million people in India with medication to eliminate the parasite. About 50 million people in India were carrying the worm as of the early 2010s, which is 40% of all the cases in the world. India is participating in a global effort to eradicate lymphatic filariasis.

Eradication of Filariasis from India

Considerable progress has been made in diagnosis and treatment of filariasis in the last decade and a new strategy for filariasis elimination aims at transmission control through mass drug administration (MDA) and at disease control through individual patient management. 

Annual single-dose co-administration of two drugs (ivermectin + diethylcarbamazine (DEC) or albendazole). It reduces blood microfilariae by 99% for a full year while a single dose of one drug (ivermectin or DEC) administered annually can result in 90% reduction.  The 50th World Health Assembly recently called on member states of the World Health Organisation (WHO). It is to identify the global elimination of lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem.  In India annual mass drug administration with a single dose of DEC was taken up as a pilot project covering 41 million population in 1996-97 and extended to 77 million population by 2002.


Public health researchers have applied machine learning techniques to improve public health monitoring for filariasis in India.

A 2019 report identified dogs in Kerala who have another worm which can cause filariasis, Brugia malayi. This worm is not known to infect people in India. If necessary tests are ready to identify the dogs carrying the disease.

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