January 2009
World Book Science Dataset;1/1/2009, p1
Reference Entry
Filariasis, any of a number of diseases of humans and other higher animals caused by parasitic roundworms called filariae (singular: filaria). It is common in the tropics of South America, Africa, and Asia. Adult worms discharge larvae about 1/100 inch (0.25 mm) long into the blood of the host. When a mosquito bites the host, it sucks larvae up along with the blood. The larvae develop in the mosquito until they are about 1/20 inch (1.3 mm) long; then they migrate to the mouthparts of the mosquito and enter the blood of the mosquito's next victim. They are then carried in the bloodstream to the lymphatic system, where they mature into adults in about eight months. Males grow to about 1 1/2 inches (40 mm) in length, females to about 3 1/2 inches (90 mm).


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