Knowledge and beliefs about transmission, prevention and control of lymphatic filariasis in rural areas of South India
To identify the gaps in people's knowledge of lymphatic filariasis, we collected descriptive and quantitative information in rural areas of Tamil Nadu, South India. People are well aware of filariasis in their communities and recognize its different clinical manifestations. Only 9% of those with and 20% of those without the disease knew that filariasis is caused through mosquito bites; the rest attributed it to many other causes. People's knowledge about transmission and prevention of filariasis is also very poor. The study identifies the rationale for people's misconceptions about the disease. Misconceptions and ignorance could adversely affect personal protection measures against mosquito bites and the use of appropriate treatment. Health education campaigns aimed at highlighting the role of mosquitoes in transmission and the importance of early diagnosis should help people in taking personal protection measures and seeking appropriate treatment.
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