Health Watch: Sleeping Sickness Returns to Africa
According to the British Medical Journal, 300,000 to 500,000 Africans are currently infected with trypanosomiasis.
The following is summarized from the British Medical Journal 2001; 322:1382, as posted on AFRO-NETS on June 8, 2001:For further information click here
Despite near-eradication of sleeping sickness, or trypanosomiasis, in the 1960s, the disease has returned with a vengeance to many parts of Africa. Population displacement, political instability, and the collapse of health systems due to civil wars, combined with inadequate surveillance, have led to a current at-risk population of sixty million Africans.
Sleeping sickness is transmitted from game animals, cattle, and pigs by the tsetse fly. Researchers believe that surveillance is a key to controlling the disease. However, less than 5% of the at-risk population is currently under active surveillance.
To read the full text of the article, please visit http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/322/7299/1382/b