Paediatric sleeping sickness in Kenya: A case report

  • George O Matete Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Trypanosomiasis Research Centre, Kikuyu
  • Jackton A Kisivuli Alupe sub district Hospital, Busia, Kenya


Sleeping sickness is often considered a disease of adults rather than children due to their reduced exposure to the vector. Presumptive diagnosis of sleeping sickness was however difficult since the clinical signs observed were non-specific. This makes clinical diagnosis difficult. Often the disease in children masquerades as a pulmonary infection that is undetectable on x-ray or auscultation. A male child aged two years and eight months was diagnosed with the disease in western Kenya. The patient presented with severe respiratory distress, hepatosplenomegay and neurological symptoms. The disease transmission was associated with the socio-cultural habit of placing children under bushes whilst farming. The implications of delayed diagnosis on response to treatment are discussed.

African Journal of Health Sciences Vol.11(1&2) 2004: 70-73

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eISSN: 1022-9272