sleeping sickness

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sleeping sickness (usually uncountable, plural sleeping sicknesses)

  1. (pathology) Any of several diseases of which lethargy is a major symptom:
    1. especially, African sleeping sickness, an endemic infectious disease of humans and animals in tropical Africa, caused by a parasitic trypanosome, transmitted by the tsetse fly and characterized by fever, severe headache, joint pains and lymph node swelling in the early stages, followed by a neurological phase of extreme weakness, sleepiness, and deep coma leading to death
    2. Also, animal trypanosomiasis, also known as nagana or animal African trypanosomiasis
    3. eastern equine encephalitis, caused by a zoonotic alphavirus and arbovirus present in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean
    4. encephalitis lethargica, a form of encephalitis, of unknown cause, that swept the world in the 1920s.