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The Cure

Unsung Hero: Louise Pearce

How the physician risked her life to test a new drug she believed would cure sleeping sickness.

Last updated: 21 Jan 2014 11:21
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Louise Pearce risked her life to test a new drug she believed would cure sleeping sickness.

In 1920, a sleeping sickness epidemic broke out across some African countries, with the Congo - at that time a Belgian colony - one of the worst hit.

Dr Louise Pearce volunteered to travel alone to the colony to test out a drug she believed could help cure victims. For decades, the drug, Tryparsamide remained the standard treatment for sleeping sickness.

Following her success, Louise Pearce returned to the US and continued her research into susceptibility and resistance to infection with Dr Wade Hampton Brown. She retired in 1951 and died eight years later following a short illness.

 

 

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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