Acute disease episodes in a Wuchereria bancrofti-endemic area of Papua New Guinea.

N D AlexanderPapua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province.

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R T PerryPapua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province.

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Z B DimberPapua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province.

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P J HyunPapua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province.

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M P AlpersPapua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province.

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J W KazuraPapua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province.

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Acute disease episodes of Bancroftian filariasis were monitored prospectively in a rural area of Papua New Guinea. The frequency and duration of episodes were recorded for the leg, arm, scrotum, and breast. A very high incidence of acute disease was observed; 0.31 episodes per person-year in the leg alone. Incidence generally increased with age, except in the breast, where episodes were concentrated in the reproductive age range. Males had slightly higher incidence than females in the leg and arm. Chronic disease was strongly associated with acute disease incidence in all locations. Microfilaremia had a statistically significant association with acute disease in the leg, arm, and breast, but not the scrotum. This study again demonstrates the high burden of acute manifestations of lymphatic filariasis, and provides new information on risk factors, which may lead to better understanding of etiology and control prospects.

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