Trypanosomiasis by Katey Halverson

A rare and deadly African sleeping sickness

What is trypanosomiasis?

Trypanosomiasis is a rare and deadly disease that occurs most in Africa. It is spread by the tsetse fly and it leads to weight loss, organ damage, anaemia, and death (lack of red blood cells).

What are the symptoms?

You need to watch out for these symptoms: Fevers, headaches, muscle and joint pain, malaise, itching, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, confusion, personality changes, seizures, and damage to the nervous system.

How is this disease spread?

Trypanosomiasis is not contagious. There is a large, brown fly in Africa called the tsetse fly. It carries the parasite and if it bites a human, the germ will enter the lymphatic system and then it travels into the blood stream. If the infected patient is not treated properly, the germ will soon infect other parts of the body and it will effect the spleen, liver, eyes, skin, cardiovascular, and endocrine.

Climate of disease

This kind of trypanosomiasis occurs in east and west Africa. The tsetse fly likes it there because it is hot and usually rainy, misty, or muggy.

Where is trypanosomiasis commonly found?

The tsetse fly is found in Africa so that's where the disease is commonly found. It occurs rarely in the United States but when it does, we have the money and doctors to cure us. Africa is poorer country so they can't always receive the best treatment.

How can this be treated or prevented?

In the 1900-1920 when the first trypanosomiasis cases were reported, there was no medicine. in the 1920, the first medicine was created and then more followed after it: Eflornithine, Melarsoprol, Pentamidine, and Suramin. They are very strong an effective for t.b. gambiense and t.b. rhodesiense, which are the two types of trypanosomiasis.
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Risk factors!

Trypanosomiasis makes you very sick and drowsy. Not only can this disease result in death, but an infected patient can fall into a coma, have uncontrollable sleeping patterns, and cardiac failure (which causes death).

deaths and cases reported

Before treatment for trypanosomiasis was invented, over 250,000 cases and a little over 50,000 people died. When the medicine was invented, the number of cases decreased drastically. in 2009, only 9,878 cases were reported and in 2012, only 7,216 cases were reported.

How can we keep the public safe?

There is really no way to keep the disease from spreading since there is no vaccine. There is medicine that can be injected into the patient who is infected but there is no way to keep the healthy people 100% safe. There are some precautions that people can take such as wearing think and long clothes with neutral colors because tsetse are attracted to bright and bold colors.

Cited sources!

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The Dangers of Drowsy Driving. Digital image. Edmunds.com. Edmunds. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

Heart Failure in a View. Digital image. Medvin2u.net. Medvin2u. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

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"Parasites - African Trypanosomiasis." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 Aug. 2012. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.

"Parasites - African Trypanosomiasis." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 Aug. 2012. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.

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Solving the Sleeping Sickness "Mystery" Digital image. Nigms.gov. NIGMS. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

"Trypanosomiasis, Human African (sleeping Sickness)." WHO. WHO, Mar. 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2014.

Tsetse Fly After Meal of Human Blood. Digital image. Corbisimages.com. Corbis Images. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

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