Human and Animal Trypanosomiasis in Africa

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  • Imperial Chemical Industries Limited, Pharmaceuticals Division, Alderley Park, Cheshire

Africa is not one place, but many places, and the epidemiology of trypanosomiasis, whether of man or of animals, will vary considerably in detail as one goes a thousand miles one way or a thousand miles the other, or climbs from sea level to 6000 feet above, or surveys the scene in the relatively uniformly warm and moist climate of much of Uganda, or in the many areas where a hot, dry season lasting several months intervenes between the rains.

It has been estimated that the area of Africa occupied by tsetse flies, and so threatened by trypanosomiasis, is almost four million square miles, which is larger than that covered by the U.S.A., and it is not surprising that there should be much variation in climate, in vegetation, and in topography. One thing only is common to all the places where the flies breed and therefore survive, and this is that they all are woodlands, bush or forest and (for there to be woods) rainfall must be sufficient.

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