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SYMPTOMS REPORTED AFTER MASS DRUG ADMINISTRATION FOR LYMPHATIC FILARIASIS IN LEOGANE, HAITI

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  • 1 Epidemic Intelligence Service, Office of Workforce and Career Development, and Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Hospital Sainte Croix, Leogane, Haiti
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Mass drug administration (MDA) for lymphatic filariasis (LF) can cause adverse reactions from microfilarial and adult worm death. Symptoms after the fifth annual MDA in Leogane, Haiti, were studied to determine whether they resulted from parasite death. Persons reporting post-MDA systemic symptoms at 5 of 148 drug distribution posts and men reporting scrotal pain at any post were interviewed. Participants were tested with immunochromatographic tests (ICTs), and men with scrotal symptoms were examined. At the five posts, 3,781 persons took anti-filarial medication. Of these, 314 (8%) returned with symptoms; the most common were headache (36%) and gastrointestinal complaints (28%). Of the 294 (94%) who consented to ICT testing, 47 (16%) were positive. Of 69 men with scrotal symptoms who consented to ICT testing, 18 (26.1%) were positive. After Leogane’s fifth MDA, most symptomatic persons had undetectable levels of filarial antigen by ICT. Free symptomatic treatment may motivate some people to report symptoms and seek care.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Natasha Hochberg, Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway NE, Mailstop F-22, Atlanta, GA 30341.
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