Recently, an article was circulated online regarding a young man in China with swollen leg that weighs around 150 kg, which is roughly the same weight as Giant Panda! 1 The 26-year old man, Liu Zhongqiu is suffering from lymphatic filariasis infection or better known as elephantiasis, a parasitic infection that caused massive enlargement of body parts due to obstruction of the lymphatic vessels. Started from a blood-sucking mosquito bite when he was a child, the parasitic worms entered his body and caused swelling of his genitals and leg which continuously grow bigger each day. Mr. Liu is now travelling and begging on the streets in search for money to get the best treatment for his disease.
Based on data from World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that 120 million people in tropical and subtropical areas in the world are infected by lymphatic filariasis, with almost 15 million of them, mostly women, suffer from elephantiasis of the leg like Mr. Liu.2 These infected patients not only become physically disabled, but also suffer from mental, social and financial losses which eventually lead to poverty and stigma.
Early detection and preventive chemotherapy are essential to interrupt the transmission cycle and eventually stop the spread of infection. Reszon PanLF Rapid Test and Brugia Rapid Test, which are developed based on immunochromatographic assay technology, are very easy to use and able to deliver reliable results quickly in just 15 to 20 minutes. Our rapid tests are ideal for use in rural areas as no specialized equipment is required and samples can be collected during the day as compared to blood smear method which requires night-time blood collection and microscopic examination of samples.
- Matthews S., The man whose swollen legs weigh the same as a PANDA: 26-year-old defies doctors expectations to make it past his 20th birthday after contracting a disease from a mosquito bite, DailyMail UK. Accessed 25 May 2017
- WHO (2017) Lymphatic Filariasis Mar 2017. Accessed 25 May 2017