African sleeping sickness could be eliminated say tropical disease experts

February 26, 2008

While the annual number of new detected cases of African sleeping sickness has been falling since the late 1990s, there could still be a resurgence of the disease unless control efforts are maintained, say tropical disease experts in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Although elimination of the disease is considered feasible, say Pere Simarro (World Health Organization) and colleagues, there is a risk that the disease could suffer the "punishment of success," receiving lower priority by public and private health institutions with the consequent risk of losing the capacity to maintain disease control.

"While waiting for new tools for sleeping sickness control," say the authors, "the greatest challenge for the coming years will be to increase and sustain the current control efforts using existing tools."

Citation: Simarro PP, Jannin J, Cattand P (2008) Eliminating human African
trypanosomiasis: Where do we stand and what comes next? PLoS Med 5(2): e55.>

Source: Public Library of Science

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