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September 19, 1908


JAMA. 1908;LI(12):1017-1018. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02540120061008

Since early in the nineteenth century trypanosomiasis has been known as the West African lethargy, or sleeping sickness. Slaves who were imported to the West Indies and to Brazil suffered from it. It is considered to have been endemic originally in a small area near the West African coast, between 15 minutes north and 15 minutes south of the equator, and to have spread thence a thousand miles up the Congo to Stanley Falls, and to the Uganda protectorate. It has now appeared in many other regions, from the Sudanese basin of the Bahr-el-Ghazal in the north, nearly to the southern cape; from the western Congo states to German East Africa. It is a gruesome commentary on the white man's eagerness to assume the burden of regenerating his black brother that the disease seems to have been enormously extended by reason of the "rapid transit"1 procedures instituted by the

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