This is a disease that can be confused with
tuberculosis, asthma, and cough related to roundworms.
SYMPTOMS: Persistent or recurrent cough that gets aggravated at night, weakness, loss of
weight and low
fever raises the possible diagnosis of this disease.
If you live in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Kerala or Tamil
Nadu, doctors would
first rule out this
easily treatable condition before thinking of other diseases
like tuberculosis or asthma. Tropical eosinophilia is more
common in these states because of a higher incidence of
filariasis in these regions. Tropical eosinophilia is considered a manifestation of a
species of microfilaria.
Some children with this disease may also have
enlargement of the glands in the neck and elsewhere. Others may
cough up a little blood. The child may also have a wheeze.
DIAGNOSIS: The diagnosis is made by doing a blood test which shows an absolute eosinophil count of more than
3000 eosinophils/mm3. For example, if the total white blood cell count is 20,000/mm3 and the eosinophils are 20%, the
absolute eosinophil count shall come to 4000/mm3. In
many cases, the child with this condition has a typical chest X-ray.
Children having roundworms may also have a similar sort of cough. But in all conditions that
resemble tropical eosinophilia, the absolute eosinophil count is not so
TREATMENT: The dramatic response to a commonly used drug for filaria
(diethylcarbamazine) almost confirms
11 February, 2013