(ORDO NEWS) — In western Senegal, near the capital, Dakar, more than 500 fishermen have been diagnosed with an unknown skin infection, Reuters reported, citing local portal Dakaractu.
According to the director of the department for information and education in the field of health, Usman Gueye, men (including adolescents) who were fishing in the same area of the Atlantic Ocean, located between the settlements of Rufisk and Mbour, were quarantined. They were placed in a temporary hospital on the grounds of the stadium in Rüfisk.
“This is a dermatitis associated with an infectious disease,” he explained. “We are continuing to check and hope to find out soon what it is. <…> The situation is very serious. According to our data, it was the water in the open ocean that became the source of this mysterious disease. Several cases of infection were identified last night, and the next hours could be decisive.”
According to a November 17 report by the Ministry of Health, the patients had scabs on their faces, limbs and, in some cases, genitals. In addition, they had a headache and a slight fever. At the same time, the first case of the “mysterious disease” was registered on the 12th in Tirau-sur-Mer: a 20-year-old fisherman became sick, who had a non-generalized vesicular rash, facial edema, dry lips and eye irritation.
On the eve of the authorities held an emergency meeting on the outbreak of an unknown infection. “I believe that it is our duty not to frighten the population, given the fact that there is no convincing evidence of the causes of this disease. The population should be aware of what is happening and I ask everyone to avoid water in the coming days, especially fishermen, ”said Minister of the Environment Abdou Karim Sall.
Más de 100 pescadores de Senegal se encuentran en cuarentena luego de contraer una misteriosa enfermedad en altamar 🤦🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/Jf5n1u0N48
— SebasTempone (@SebasTempone) November 20, 2020
The Senegal Navy will take water samples for analysis, and the samples collected from the sick are sent to the laboratory. The Health Department is investigating.
Upd. Some foreign media outlets write (data differ) that the number of cases has reached 700 people. Cases were reported not only in Mbour and Ryufisk, but also in Saint-Louis, Mbao, Tuba-Dialo and Jena. The cause of the “mysterious disease” could be toxic pollution of water or algae: videos are circulating on the Web showing heaps of garbage and dead fish.
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