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 The story, set in Khon Kaen, follows Jen (Jenjira Pongpas Widner), a volunteer at a clinic where a group of soldiers have come down with a strange sleeping sickness. The New Yorker, 10 Jan. 2022 The century-old suramin, currently used to treat African sleeping sickness and river blindness (onchocerciasis), has also gotten some traction as a potential Covid-19 treatment. Joshua Cohen, Forbes, 1 Jan. 2022 Disease-specific commentary expanded to address other conditions, such as sleeping sickness and smallpox. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, 13 July 2021 The chemical has been used as a drug to treat African sleeping sickness, a parasitic disease transmitted by the tsetse fly found only in sub-Saharan Africa. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, 15 June 2021 Between 1917 and the late nineteen-twenties, about a million people worldwide came down with a mysterious sleeping sickness called encephalitis lethargica. Katherine S. Xue, The New Yorker, 21 Feb. 2021 Take, for example, African sleeping sickness, a deadly disease with frightening neuro-psychiatric symptoms. Nathalie Strub-wourgaft, STAT, 24 Nov. 2020 Native to tropical Africa, these big, biting flies spread the parasitic infection that causes African sleeping sickness, a disease that is 100 percent fatal without treatment, and the treatment itself is notoriously difficult. Bill Heavey, Field & Stream, 19 Oct. 2020 Thanks to new technologies and the work of national sleeping sickness programs, there are now fewer than 1,000 cases reported a year, down from more than 30,000 two decades ago. Nathalie Strub-wourgaft, STAT, 24 Nov. 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of sleeping sickness

1875, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for sleeping sickness

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The first known use of sleeping sickness was in 1875

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Dictionary Entries Near sleeping sickness

sleeping rent

sleeping sickness

sleeping suit

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Cite this Entry

“Sleeping sickness.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sleeping%20sickness. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for sleeping sickness

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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sleeping sickness

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