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Sleeping Sickness

 

Sleeping sickness or African trypanosomiasis is a parasitic disease affecting the brain and the meninges.

Causes

  • Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense
  • Trypanosoma brucei gambiense
  • Bite of an infected tsetse fly
  • Mother to fetus infection
  • Blood transfusion

Symptoms

  • Painful red swelling at the site of bite
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Joint pains
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia at night
  • Excessive day time sleepiness
  • Disorientation
  • Coma

Treatment

Sleeping sickness is fatal if not treated promptly. Treatment includes the following medication:

  • Eflornithine
  • Melarsoprol
  • Pentamidine
  • Suramin (Antrypol)

Prevention

  • Insect control in risky areas
  • Avoiding insect bites by using sleeping nets, protective clothing etc.