What is West African trypanosomiasis?
There are two types of African trypanosomiasis (also called sleeping sickness); each named for the region of Africa in which it was found historically. Individuals can become infected with West African trypanosomiasis if they receive a bite from an infected tsetse fly, which is only found in Africa. West African trypanosomiasis, also called Gambian sleeping sickness, is caused by a parasite called Trypanosoma brucei gambiense carried by the tsetse fly. Approximately 10,000 new cases of West African trypanosomiasis are reported to the World Health Organization each year. However, many cases are not recognized or reported and the true number of annual cases is likely to be higher. Cases of West African trypanosomiasis imported into the United States are extremely rare