Just when you thought your brain could unwind on a Friday, you realise that it would rather be challenged with some good old fashioned medical trivia FFFF…introducing Funtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 235 and infectious diseases / animal theme.
- Caused by the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus. It is transmitted through repeated bites by blackflies of the genus Simulium. The adult worms are found on the skin as nodules but produce micro-filaria which can cause the disease “river blindness” and skin changes. The itch can be so intense that people have been known to rub themselves with rocks or even commit suicide. [Reference]
The skin, if left untreated, thickens due to dermal infiltration giving rise to the ‘leonine facies’. [Reference]
- Severe malnutrition is usually diagnosed as either marasmus or kwashiorkor. In simple terms, marasmus is diagnosed when the child is wasted whereas kwashiorkor occurs when the child is wasted but becomes oedematous. [Reference]
- Lymphatic filariasis is caused by infection with parasites classified as nematodes (roundworms) of the family Filariodidea. There are 3 types of these thread-like filarial worms:
- Wuchereria bancrofti, which is responsible for 90% of the cases.
- Brugia malayi, which causes most of the remainder of the cases.
- Brugia timori, which also causes the disease.
- Adult worms lodge in the lymphatic vessels and disrupt the normal function of the lymphatic system. The worms can live for an average of 6–8 years and, during their life time, produce millions of microfilariae (immature larvae) that circulate in the blood.