Trypanosoma detected in dogs | Sunday Observer

Trypanosoma detected in dogs

Following reports of two dogs infected with Trypanosoma being found in Balangoda and Mullaitivu, medical experts are conducting laboratory tests to determine the seriousness of the outbreak, the Sunday Observer learns. The disease is a parasite infection commonly found in Sub Saharan African countries.

Senior Lecturer, Veterinary Clinical Studies, University of Peradeniya, Prof. Ashoka Dangolla who received blood samples of the two infected dogs said that the level of Trypanosoma will be known tomorrow (14) once the laboratory tests conclude.

According to Dangolla, no cases of Trypanosoma have been reported in Sri Lanka previously while the vector of the disease, the tsetse fly has no presence in the country either. “Therefore, we are still unaware as to how the disease was transmitted,” he said.

While there are many types of Trypanosoma, Sri Lankan authorities are conducting investigations to identify the type which was found in Sri Lanka, as some types can be transmitted to humans as well. “Even though it may not be transmitted to humans we will conduct research to identify the vector which is spreading the disease in Sri Lanka,” he said.

After the two cases were publicised, residents have informed Prof. Dangolla of several other cases found in the country.

“If it is a zoonotic type of Trypanosoma where the disease is directly transmitted from animals to humans, we have a huge challenge ahead of us,” Prof. Dangolla said.

According to the World Health Organisation, website fever, headaches, joint pains and itching are common symptoms of Trypanosoma.