sleeping sickness

noun

Definition of sleeping sickness

1 : a serious disease that is prevalent in much of tropical Africa, is marked by fever, headache, lethargy, confusion, and sleep disturbances, and is caused by either of two trypanosomes (Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense) transmitted by tsetse flies
2 : any of various viral encephalitides or encephalomyelitides of which lethargy or somnolence is a prominent feature

Examples of sleeping sickness in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, is the result. SFChronicle.com, "News of the Day From Around the World, Oct. 30," 30 Oct. 2019 Other blood-feeding insects — such as mosquitoes and ticks — spread a host of devastating diseases: malaria, sleeping sickness, Lyme, babesiosis, Zika, dengue, encephalitis and others. James Gorman, New York Times, "Meet the Bloodsuckers," 28 Oct. 2019 The World Health Organization says sleeping sickness is endemic in 36 countries in sub-Saharan Africa but cases have been dropping. SFChronicle.com, "News of the Day From Around the World, Oct. 30," 30 Oct. 2019 The World Health Organization says sleeping sickness is endemic in 36 countries in sub-Saharan Africa but cases have been dropping. Washington Post, "Malawi fights tsetse flies, disease after wildlife relocated," 30 Oct. 2019 Some can be downright dangerous, transmitting viruses (yellow fever, encephalitis, dengue fever, West Nile disease), bacteria (Lyme disease, typhus) or parasites (malaria, sleeping sickness). Washington Post, "Some common garden plants might help keep bugs away," 6 Aug. 2019 DNDi has developed treatments for malaria, African sleeping sickness, leishmaniosis, Chagas disease and pediatric HIV. Bruce Deboskey, The Denver Post, "On Philanthropy: Philanthropy is the ultimate “risk capital”," 9 June 2019 These crippling and even fatal diseases include African sleeping sickness, a brain-eating amoeba, hookworm, roundworms that infiltrate the lymphatic system, and malaria. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "UCSD steps up fight against tropical parasitical diseases," 4 July 2018 The tsetse fly, which spreads sleeping sickness, nourishes its grub inside a bizarrely mammalian uterus and feeds it with a milklike fluid—one that’s laden with microbes. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "The Wasp That Paints Its Nursery In Bacteria," 12 Dec. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sleeping sickness.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sleeping sickness

1875, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for sleeping sickness

Time Traveler

The first known use of sleeping sickness was in 1875

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Statistics for sleeping sickness

Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Sleeping sickness.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sleeping%20sickness. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for sleeping sickness

sleeping sickness

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sleeping sickness

: a tropical disease that causes fever, sleepiness, and usually death

sleeping sickness

noun

Medical Definition of sleeping sickness

1 : a serious disease that is prevalent in much of tropical Africa, is marked by fever, headache, protracted lethargy, confusion, sleep disturbances, tremors, and loss of weight, is caused by either of two trypanosomes (Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense), and is transmitted by tsetse flies

called also African sleeping sickness

2 : any of various viral encephalitides or encephalomyelitides of which lethargy or somnolence is a prominent feature especially : equine encephalomyelitis

More from Merriam-Webster on sleeping sickness

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sleeping sickness

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sleeping sickness

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