Hundreds of fishermen in Senegal, a small country in West Africa, have contracted a mysterious skin disease recently. Minister of Health and Welfare Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr has informed that they have currently been placed under isolation and are undergoing tests. According to Minute News, the disease appeared in fishermen, who come from the area of Thiaroye, a port south of capital Dakar, with predominantly fishing towns. Reportedly, over 500 fishermen have been infected so far.
The first case of this mysterious skin disease was reported on the 12th of November 2020. The patient was a 20-year-old fisherman and had developed non-generalized vesicular rash, swelling of the face, dry lips and redness of the eyes.
“It’s dermatitis associated with an infectious disease,” Gueye told Reuters. “We are checking further and hope to find out soon what it is.” A report by the Ministry of Health said that the patients had developed “lesions on their faces, extremities and for some, on their genitals.”
Reports have also indicated that Senegal has imposed a ban on travelling to the sea and strict medical protocols have been imposed in the country till the source of the disease is found.
According to the report, 18 people have been hospitalised so far, while others who have contracted the disease are being treated. Senegal’s health ministry has said that the disease is in no way connected to the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic and has also confirmed that it is not viral. The ministry said that the fishermen who have contracted the mysterious disease have tested negative for COVID-19.
Notre visite de terrain nous a permis une meilleure appréciation de la situation des pêcheurs affectés. Par ailleurs,nous avons la confirmation que la cause n’est pas virale et d’autres pistes sont explorées pour en savoir davantage.#msas #COVID19sn#Senegal pic.twitter.com/FdDoM3yZUh— Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr (@abdioufsarr) November 20, 2020
Several images and videos have emerged on social media that show lesions on the hands and face, swollen lips and a severe rash that have emerged on the infected patients.
BREAKING – More than 500 people caught an unknown disease in #Senegal. In a report, the country's Ministry of Health noted that the fishermen had elevated temperature, and pimple-like lesions on their faces, limbs, and genitals. pic.twitter.com/sp8u6oAH4G— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) November 20, 2020
Hi 2021! 😉 In western Senegal, more than 100 fishermen have contracted an unknown disease, APA reports citing Dacar News. The center of the disease is located between the port cities of Rufisk and Mbour, near the capital Dakar. Patients have skin rashes in the form of scabs.1/2 pic.twitter.com/Q2IQAWuPuD— Großes solares Eddy-Minimum (@GroEddy) November 20, 2020
2020 and does not think to retreat. In #Senegal, about 200 fishermen have contracted a mysterious disease that they contracted in the Atlantic Ocean. Patients become covered with scabs, itch strongly and complain of swollen lips and eye irritation. pic.twitter.com/UIpzJM3QvT— Vladimir Arevshatyan | Software Engineer (@androiddeev) November 20, 2020
The Ministry of Health and Social Action added: “[Mr Sarr] with his colleagues from the environment and fisheries held a meeting in the presence of the governor of Dakar to take stock of the disease, the number of cases, the management, the state of investigations, harmonisation of the response to more efficiency.
Further, it is being reported that the Senegalese navy will be sent to take water samples for analysis.