The parasite, spread by infected tsetse flies mostly found in rural sub-Saharan Africa, can invade a person’s central nervous system and lead to psychiatric and sleep disorders, and if untreated, death. Because of under-reporting, estimates of the actual number of infections range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands.
|New treatment for sleeping sickness|
|Detecting stealth sleeping sickness|
|Dipstick diagnosis for under-reported diseases|
|Hunt for sleeping sickness drug continues|
|Tsetse fly costs agriculture billions every year|
Though 72 percent more people were tested from 2000-2009 than during the previous decade, scientists say lack of low-tech, rapid testing and safe drugs has prevented the elimination of the disease. The highest number of cases were reported in Democratic Republic of Congo (80 percent), followed by Central African Republic (11 percent).