Before you delve too deeply into this list of rare medical conditions – it would be remiss not to warn you that some of these conditions are stomach churning.
Elephantiasis is a symptom of a variety of diseases which all have a common thread where parts of a persons body swell to massive sizes. It can be caused by chronic lymphangitis, parasitic worms, an immune disorder affecting the lymph vessels, and in the case of the more known ‘Elephant Man’ a genetic disorder. The most common form is caused by a worm thats transmitted to humans by the female mosquito.
The condition is thought to threaten 1.4 billion people, with over 120 million currently affected, and 40 million disfigured. The variants caused by worms are treatable with medication and take around eight weeks to cure. Sadly those least able to afford medication are typically the most affected.