Presentation of Trypanosomiasis in Nkhotakota
In 2002, we identified 28 people in Nkhotakota District who were suffering from Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT). Sixteen of these were identified when they presented to the District Hospital with a febrile illness. The remaining twelve were identified through a rural cross-sectional survey, in which 500 people were visited in their homes, persons found to be febrile, were examined by blood film microscopy.
Of the 28 people, 50% (14) presented within a month of the onset of symptoms. Sixteen (57%) had splenomegaly, and 24 were anaemic ([Hb] <12 g/dl). Four patients died (14%), of which two were in the late stage of the disease.
None of the patients recall having a chancre that could be attributed to the bite of tsetse flies. 9 out of 28 (32%) reported illness longer than 90 days. Of the 9 patients 6 (66%) of them remained in the early stage after reporting illness of 180 days. This study reports on the prevalence and clinical features of Trypansoma brucei rhodesiense infection in a endemic district in Malawi.
Malawi Medical Journal Vol. 19 (4) 2007 pp. 140-141