sleeping Sickness- Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

sleeping Sickness- Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

African trypanosomias is Also known as sleeping sickness. It is a parasitic disease for both humans and animals. It is caused by trypanosome brucei: a protozoa species. Vectors of this disease are mostly tsetse fly, which itself is infected. Sleeping sickness is most common in rural areas.

Although the disease found in all around the world, but mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. According to a report in 2015, almost 11,000 people were infected by this disease and out of which 38,500 died.

The history of sleeping sickness is quite old, even in the 1990s 80% cases were registered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Other than that millions of cases have emerged from Uganda in 1986, and in the 1990s from another state of Africa.

What is sleeping sickness?

Sleeping sickness is a vector-borne parasitic disease, which is widespread around the globe. It can be fatal, if not treated on time. It is caused by the bite of the tsetse fly and within few days infected person will feel red sore, and after few weeks swollen lymph, etching, muscle, and joint pain.

This disease attack the central nervous system of the human body, and the infected person can feel changes in his personality, and the infected person will feel irritation, change in mood, the problem in walking, and running. The whole biological clock will be changed, and the person will not be aware of when to eat, and when to sleep.

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Causes of sleeping sickness.


As mention earlier, the major cause of this disease is an infected tsetse fly (glossina genus) but in humans the disease transmitted by two types of species.

  • Trypanosome brucei gambienes: this disease occurs in 24 countries of west and central Africa. This form of sleeping sickness has currently reported 98% of the disease. And in most cases, the person doesn’t show any symptoms of disease for many years, and when the symptoms appear the condition of the patient is already critical.
  • Trypanosome brucei rhodesiense: this type only found in 13 countries of eastern and southern Africa. And only 2% of reported cases were there. The symptoms of this kind occurs after few weeks, and it can hurt the nervous system if not treated on time. Only in Uganda, both types are found in a particular area.

Symptoms of sleeping sickness.

Among the two types mention above, the first one doesn’t show any symptoms initially. But after a few weeks, the symptoms are although quite rare but, small ulcer, or high fever, severe pain in muscle and joints can be observed.

In the second case, the symptoms are quite visible. The initial symptoms are the same but in the worst case possible the patient might face kidney, heart or lungs problems, this disease usually attacks the nervous system of the human body, so if not treated immediately, the disease can be fatal.

Treatment of sleeping sickness.

The treatment of sleeping sickness can only be prescribed after the reports. In the initial stage, the examination of blood takes place. And after the reports, it tells that which stage of the disease the patient is in currently.

For the treatment of sleeping sickness, multiple drugs are used. For different stages, doctors tend to prescribe different drugs.

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