Prevalence Of Onchocerciasis In Umuowaibu Community Of Imo State, South East Nigeria
AbstractObjectives:To determine the prevalence of onchocerciasis in individuals residing in the Umuowaibu community of Imo state in South East Nigeria and that of mixed filarial infections among persons with clinical signs of onchocerciasis.
Method:An onchocerciasis endemic community in Imo State, South East Nigeria was screened and persons showing overt clinical signs were selected for further study. Blood samples of selected persons were examined for microfilaria.
Results:Out of a total population of 750, 264 (35.2%) individuals had signs of clinical filariasis. The exhibited signs include pruritus in 46 persons (16.7%), skin nodules in 71 (27%), leopard skin in 30 (11.23%), skin tumour in 16 (6%), loss of vision in 72 (27.1%) and worms in the eye in 13 (4.5%). No individual exhibited microfilaria in the peripheral blood.
Conclusion:The occurrence of clinical signs and the presence of known insect vectors in the area were considered indicators of continuing active disease transmission despite community control measures. Absence of microfilaraemia in patients with overt onchocerciasis suggests the absence of mixed infections probably as a result of immunological, genetic, pathological, nutritional and other mechanisms.
Key Words: Onchocerciasis, Endemicity, Microfilaraemia
Orient Journal of Medicine Vol.15(3&4) 2003: 39-41