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Sleeping Sickness

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  • Sleeping Sickness

    I donít know if sleeping sickness is familiar to you guys but for me, itís the first time Iíve ever heard about such sickness. The sickness is said to be spread by the bite of deadly insects called tsetse flies. An estimated 60 million people across Sub-Sahara Africa are at risk of catching this disease which could be fatal if left untreated for long. Symptoms of the disease include fatigue and swollen joints.

    British researchers are finding ways on how to end this deadly disease. They found out that tsetse flies are attracted to the color ďblueĒ which they are now using to lure these insects and hopefully could eradicate them before they could spread more of the disease.

    Here are some links on the story:

  • #2
    This is also my first time hearing about this. I honestly think a temporary solution to this (until a cure is found) is to install nets over the bed in each household. I think this is a fairly cheap alternative to buying numerous amounts of bug sprays (although these should be used as well). I think these nets can be beneficial especially for children and the elderly who are probably much weaker (or may get up more often during the night).
    Last edited by Anna Blush; 07-10-2015, 10:44 AM.
    gracer likes this.


    • #3
      I have heard of this disease before. It is one of the many feared tropical diseases. Mosquito netting is extremely important in preventing it, as well as malaria, which is carried by another mosquito. Reducing standing water is another important step in reducing mosquito populations by reducing available breeding areas.
      gracer likes this.


      • #4
        It is a rare and strange disease, I think. I don't know why it is called sleeping sickness. Has it got any relation to sleeping habits? A net can give you protection while sleeping only. Mosquito killer bats would also be handy to deal with these insects. It is a relief that it is completely curable at the beginning stage. But you need to watch out for symptoms which are very difficult to detect though.


        • #5
          Okay guys. Let's not panic unless perhaps you live in the Saharan or Congo portions of Africa.
          There are 4 or 5 basic ailments that are classified as "sleeping sickness," but the one that the thread concerns is about the one caused by the bite of the tse-tse fly which has already been stated.

          The disease, African trypanosomiasis, comes in two stages, the first of which starts in about a week to three weeks after the initial bite. Since the population of the areas where the disease is most prone is one whereby the people are used to a couple of the symptoms, (and the lack of doctors or clinics) they do not seek help when troubled by joint pain or nausea.
          The first stage is so similar to the flu that most just self treat with whatever homeopathic remedies they might have hoping there will be no second stage forthcoming which involves neuopathy of the limbs and digits, dizziness, disorientation, extremely high temperature, incontinence, joint pain and the eventual grace of death.

          Note: Both stages are absolutely treatable and the patient can be cured if it is diagnosed in time. The second stage, a bit more painful for a lumbar puncture must be done to insure a proper diagnosis.

          With the lack of medical facilities in all of the continent of Africa, particularly in the more rural areas of northwest Africa and as I mentioned, the Congo, the death rate is astounding. For the need of a couple of shots, people die by the thousands each and every year, but admittedly the mortality rate is getting better because of volunteer medical help from other countries.
          It is not the disease that is the disaster, but the unavailability of tried and true cures that constitutes a disaster.
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          • #6
            This is one sickness you don't want to be caught up in. If you're at work, it could get you fired. But seriously speaking, such strange illnesses are spreading throughout Africa because it's by far the most underdeveloped continent in the world. Modernization and industrialization may make a lot of difference.


            • #7
              I have never heard of this disease and its saddening finding out about the incredible amount of sicknesses that people have to deal with in third world countries such as Sudan. Thanks to Precherbob50 for explaining, I think education is a good step forward as it can help people avoid diseases, at least to some extent. Prevention is better than cure and prevention requires knowledge, which requires education. The lack of healthcare and basic amenities results in an abundance of diseases in the northern Africa regions. Poverty, war and famine worsen the situation and it just shows how lucky we are to live where such things don't exist.
              gracer likes this.