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sleeping sickness Syllabification: sleep·ing sick·ness
Pronunciation: /slēpiNG ˈsiknis/

Definition of sleeping sickness in English:


1A tropical disease caused by a parasitic protozoan (trypanosome) that is transmitted by the bite of the tsetse fly. It causes fever, chills, pain in the limbs, and anemia, and eventually affects the nervous system causing extreme lethargy and death. See also trypanosomiasis.
Example sentences
  • The tsetse fly transmits sleeping sickness, midges transmit lumpy skin disease and three-day stiff sickness.
  • The medical aid agency specifically asked them for the overall resources devoted to malaria, tuberculosis, sleeping sickness, Chagas' disease, and leishmaniasis.
  • Transmitted by tsetse flies, in which the trypanosomes of African sleeping sickness develop, they enter their human host by the bite of the fly.
2North American another term for encephalitis lethargica.
Example sentences
  • This mysterious illness, also known as sleeping sickness, can lead to a prolonged state of unconsciousness.
  • The sleeping sickness, encephalitis lethargica, spread around the globe, and its complications attracted the interest of neurologists.
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