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Hundreds of fishermen contract mysterious skin disease in Senegal, suffer from lesions on the face, extremities and skin rash

It is being reported that now the Senegalese navy will be sent to take water samples for analysis.

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.

Fishermen in Senegal being treated for mysterious skin disease (Source: Independent.co.uk)
Patient being treated for mysterious skin disease (Source: Independent.co.uk)

“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. 

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.

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.

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