Most infected people are asymptomatic and will never develop clinical symptoms, despite the fact that the parasite damages the lymph system. A small percentage of persons will develop lymphedema. This is caused by improper functioning of the lymph system that results in fluid collection and swelling. This mostly affects the legs, but can also occur in the arms, breasts, and genitalia. Most people develop these clinical
Carefully wash the swollen area with soap and water every day. Elevate and exercise the swollen arm or leg to move the fluid and improve the lymph flow. Disinfect any wounds. Use antibacterial or antifungal cream if necessary.
Globally, 1103 million people live in the countries where preventive treatment for lymphatic filariasis is required. WHO's African and South-East Asia regions harbour 94% of the population living in endemic areas, and 98% of the infected population. Of the total population requiring preventive chemotherapy for lymphatic filariasis, 632 million (57%) live in the South-East Asia Region (9 endemic countries) and 410 million (37%) live in the African Region (35 countries).