The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that refugees at risk of Loa loa infection be tested for microfilaria before treatment with ivermectin. We report observational results of this approach in African refugees in Texas. Daytime blood smears were performed for microfilaria on at-risk African refugees who arrived in Texas from July 1, 2014 through December 30, 2016. Clinics were asked if there were any adverse events reported among those who received ivermectin.Of the 422 persons screened, 346 (82%) were born in L. loa-endemic countries, with 332 (96%) of these being born in the Democratic Republic of Congo. No smears detected microfilaria, and all received presumptive ivermectin with no reports of significant adverse events. In this investigation, the prevalence of significant microfilarial load in sub-Saharan African refugees appeared to be low, and ivermectin treatment was safe and well tolerated.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Financial support: This work was supported by CDC’s Strengthening Surveillance for Diseases Among Newly-Arrived Immigrants and Refugees – CK12-1205.