Meaning of sleeping sickness

sleep'ing sick"ness

Pronunciation: [key]
— Pathol. Pathol.
  1. Also calleda generally fatal disease, common in parts of Africa, characterized by fever, wasting, and progressive lethargy: caused by a parasitic protozoan, Trypanosoma gambiense or T. rhodesiense, that is carried by a tsetse fly, Glossina palpalis.
  2. Also calleda viral disease affecting the brain, characterized by apathy, sleepiness, extreme muscular weakness, and impairment of vision.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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