Across more than 35 countries in Africa, nearly 3,000 people become infected each year with human African trypanosomiasis or African Sleeping Sickness. The disease, which has been around for generations, is also responsible for the death of livestock, and thereby livelihoods, leading to poverty in some regions. African Sleeping Sickness is a challenge to medical professionals because it is easy to misdiagnose; in its advanced phase, treatment requires unique precision.
Back in Ancient Egypt, veterinarians identified a mysterious disease that was killing off their cattle. Eventually, they culled the infected animals, but in the centuries since then, cattle nagana has been a cause of hardship for many people who raise livestock as a business. The disease continued as a deadly mystery until 1895, when Scottish microbiologist David Bruce isolated the exact cause of cattle nagana: Trypanosoma brucei.
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