Transmitted by the bite of the tsetse flu (Glossina spp.), African trypanosomiasis, of sleeping sickness is a serious infection caused by microscopic parasites of the species Trypanosoma brucei.
Although the infection is not found in the United States, historically, it has been a serious public health problem in some regions of sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2014, 3,796 sleeping sickness cases were reported to the World Health Organization; T. b. gambiense accounted for >98% of cases. Many cases, however, are probably not recognized nor reported.
I recently had a long conversation with Associate Professor of Infectious Disease and International Medicine at USF Health, Sandra Gompf, MD about a myriad of infectious disease topics from her handy book, Gompf’s ID pearls and one on the topics I asked her about was African sleeping sickness.
- Infectious diseases: Some select ‘pearls’ with Sandra Gompf, MD
- Undocumented immigrants and the import of infectious diseases: A real health security risk to the US?
- Leptospirosis: Risk, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment
- Monkeypox: Q&A with Dr Warren Andiman
- Rat lungworm in the US: An interview with Dr Eugene Liu
- Capillaria philippinensis: First described in the 1960s in the Northern Philippines
- Strongyloides stercoralis: Severe and life-threatening infection in the immunosuppressed
- Schistosomiasis: In terms of impact, it’s second only to malaria as the most devastating parasitic disease