A mysterious disease strikes Senegalese fishermen

By the authorities’ own admission, the mystery is total. At least 300 Senegalese fishermen show on their return to land the symptoms of a skin disease whose cause remains unknown, but which could have a “toxic origin”, said Thursday the Minister of Health. “For two days, we have indeed seen the appearance of a disease in Thiaroye (a port south of Dakar) which attacks fishermen returning from sea, who often have lesions,” Minister Abdoulaye Diouf told the press. Sarr.

No suspicion of a contagious character

The media showed men, all fishermen, with many, sometimes impressive, pimples, faces, mouths or limbs. “To date, we have identified more than 300 cases and the identification continues as the fishermen return from sea. Among these cases, we have 18 who are hospitalized and the others are taken care of in dedicated places ”, explained the Minister.

The Institut Pasteur and the ministry’s poison control center have been asked to analyze the causes of the disease, he said. “What we can say today is that it is not at all linked to Covid because the Covid tests were negative, and we also did not see the presence of viruses, which of course can make us think of a toxic origin, ”Sarr said.

The environment services will analyze seawater, he added. According to him, “there is no suspicion” that this disease is contagious since “only fishermen returning from the sea are affected” and that there is no spread at home.

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