If you have loiasis symptoms and have been to or reside in affected regions of Africa, your physician may recommend a blood test. This test will detect the presence of Loa loa microfilariae in one’s blood. Your physician may also perform a physical exam to search for indications of loiasis, including swollen, itchy spots on your body.
Loiasis is treated with antiparasitic drugs like diethylcarbamazine (DEC) and ivermectin. On the other hand, individuals who have significant quantities of Loa loa microfilariae in their blood may have fatal responses to these drugs. Before administering ivermectin or DEC, the practitioner may prescribe a test to determine the number of microfilariae in one’s blood.
Furthermore, DEC and Ivermectin may not be safe when you have over 8,000 microfilariae for every milliliter of blood. Firstly, your doctor may advise you to take albendazole or undergo a blood-filtering process. Both blood filtration and the use of albendazole are effective in lowering the microfilariae count in the blood. If this is the case, then DEC or ivermectin could be your best option.
Because loiasis is uncommon in the United States, your doctor may refer you to a tropical medicine specialist to treat the illness. You should consult an expert doctor if you have a severe infection.