Lusaka spared from elephantiasis

The dreaded Elephantiasis virus has spared Lusaka despite affecting more than 40 districts in Zambia. Ministry of Health spokesperson Kamoto Mbewe said the virus has affected at least 45 out of 72 districts in the country with Luangwa district having the highest number of cases recorded. Mr Kamoto further disclosed that the response to the new vaccination was positive and overwhelming.

The virus has affected at least 45 out of 72 districts in the country with Luangwa district having the highest number of cases recorded. Elephantiasis is caused by a parasitic virus carried by female anopheles mosquitoes which can result in the abnormal enlargement of body parts. The dreaded Elephantiasis virus has spared Lusaka despite affecting more than 40 districts in Zambia.

Ministry of Health spokesperson Kamoto Mbewe said the virus has affected at least 45 out of 72 districts in the country with Luangwa district having the highest number of cases recorded.

Mr Kamoto further disclosed that the response to the new vaccination was positive and overwhelming.

“The number of people seeking the elephantiasis vaccine in various areas in the country is more than what the ministry of health expected. People are flocking to get the vaccine than the targeted number. One such place is Ndola where more people came seeking the vaccine,” he explained.

And University of Zambia Clinic assistant Patrick Moto said the virus has no cure but could be prevented.

Mr. Moto further said the virus can only be interrupted in an already infected a person and not cured.

“Even though other learning institutions are being vaccinated against Elephantiasis, the University of Zambia is not among them because there is currently no Elephantiasis in Lusaka,” he said.

Elephantiasis is caused by a parasitic virus carried by female anopheles mosquitoes which can result in the abnormal enlargement of body parts.

It is typically characterised by a thickening of the skin and subcutaneous tissue that leads to enlarged and swollen limbs. The condition is also called lymphatic filariasis.

A person needs many mosquito bites over several months to years to get lymphatic filariasis. People living or staying for a long time in tropical or sub-tropical areas where the disease is common are at the greatest risk for infection. Short-term tourists have a very low risk. An infection will show up on a blood test.
 

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