Definition of sleeping sickness in English:

sleeping sickness


mass noun
  • 1A tropical disease caused by parasitic protozoans (trypanosomes) which are transmitted by the bite of the tsetse fly. It causes fever, chills, pain in the limbs, and anaemia, and eventually affects the nervous system causing extreme lethargy and death.

    Also called trypanosomiasis
    • ‘The medical aid agency specifically asked them for the overall resources devoted to malaria, tuberculosis, sleeping sickness, Chagas' disease, and leishmaniasis.’
    • ‘Only about 1% of newly developed drugs are for tropical diseases, such as African sleeping sickness and dengue fever.’
    • ‘Understanding trypanosomes at the molecular level is key to fighting African sleeping sickness and diseases caused by similar parasites.’
    • ‘Transmitted by tsetse flies, in which the trypanosomes of African sleeping sickness develop, they enter their human host by the bite of the fly.’
    • ‘The tsetse fly transmits sleeping sickness, midges transmit lumpy skin disease and three-day stiff sickness.’
  • 2

    US term for sleepy sickness
    • ‘The sleeping sickness, encephalitis lethargica, spread around the globe, and its complications attracted the interest of neurologists.’
    • ‘This mysterious illness, also known as sleeping sickness, can lead to a prolonged state of unconsciousness.’


sleeping sickness