African trypanosomiasis



A disease caused by infection with a parasite spread through a tsetse fly bite.


African trypanosomiasis, also called sleeping sickness, is transmitted to humans by tsetse fly bites. The tsetse flies are found only in rural Africa. Untreated, the disease often is fatal.


Symptoms include high fever, tiredness, headaches and muscle aches. Later stages may include behavior changes, confusion and poor coordination, and trouble sleeping.


Treatment involves medicines to kill the parasites. The earlier the treatment, the better the chances of a cure. Follow-up for up to 24 months is needed to be sure the parasites are gone.