Anyone diagnosed with African Trypanosomiasis should be treated, with specific drug and treatment course depending on type of infection (T. b. gambiense or T. b. rhodesiense) and disease stage (i.e., presence or absence of central nervous system involvement). Pentamidine, the recommended drug for first stage T. b. gambiense infection, is available in the United States. The other drugs (suramin, melarsoprol, eflornithine, and nifurtimox when used in combination with eflornithine) used to treat African trypanosomiasis are not commercially available in the United States but can be obtained from CDC. Physicians can consult with CDC staff to obtain these otherwise unavailable treatment drugs.
There is no test of cure for African trypanosomiasis. After treatment, patients should be closely followed for 24 months and monitored for relapse. Recurrence of symptoms will require examination of body fluids, including CSF, to detect the presence of trypanosomes.