Sleeping sickness cases in Kalmunai

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 07 July 1999, 18:40 GMT]
The Medical Research Institute (MRI) based at Borella, Colombo said it had confirmed that the two patients admitted to the Kalmunai hospital in the island's eastern province last week were suffering from sleeping sickness.

When the patients were admitted they were initially thought to have malaria.

But tests at the Batticaloa hospital showed that they probably had sleeping sickness said sources.

The patients were cattle herders from an area close to Kalmunai. They are now being treated in Colombo, the sources said.

The disease, which is prevalent in Africa, Brazil and India, is transferred from cattle to humans through open wounds.

Local public health experts have hypothesised that the disease might have been transmitted from cattle brought to Sri Lanka by the IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force) between 1987 and 1990.

The MRI says that it will send a medical team to Kalmunai to investigate the illness, sources said.


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