Dad says mosquito bite left him with 'elephant leg disease'

A father is begging for help after a mosquito bite left him with "elephant leg disease," which caused his limb to swell to four times the size.

Chetan Pithadia, 53, noticed his left leg was getting bigger four years ago and doctors gave him pills that did not help.

His leg continued to bulge to an estimated 55 pounds, and his foot can now barely be seen thanks to huge folds and lumps.

The condition is caused by parasitic filarial worms carried by mosquitoes which enter the body when victims are bitten.

The former garment worker from Jaamnagar, India, who has since had to give up work, is appealing for help to raise $4,500 he needs for treatment.

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"My condition is getting worse by the day," the father-of-two said. "It's a condition where the patient can only find relief to a certain extent. I have recently discovered a probable cure at a hospital in Kerala."

"But the process requires admitting me to hospital for a month three times, and I will need medicines for around two years," Pithadia said. 

Pithadia, who lives with his wife, son and daughter, said he initially thought the swelling was temporary.

He travelled nearly 620 miles to the Municipal Hospital in central Mumbai where doctors gave him oral medication which didn't help.

Later a doctor in his hometown diagnosed him with lymphedema filariasis, also known as "elephant leg disease."

Last month experts revealed he could be cured by treatment available at the Institute of Applied Dermatology in Kerala, nearly 1,200 miles south of his home.