Has the mysterious illness in Senegal solved? Here are the details

In recent days, a mysterious disease has raged in Thiaroye-Sur-Mer and is spreading, little by little, to other localities. Of the first sixty cases, over two hundred people were affected in less than 40 hours. Currently, several hundred cases have been listed. A Senegalese doctor thinks of Chickenpox while the first researcher’s result speaks otherwise.

The mysterious disease that afflicts hundreds of fishermen from different Senegal regions seems to have an explanation, which would not be toxic, still far from viral. What could be the cause? The details.

While specialists speak of toxic origin and ask that research be focused on fishermen’s nets, a Senegalese doctor contacted by Seneweb thinks he has found what disease it is. According to him, it is Chickenpox.

“Chickenpox is a contagious disease caused by the chickenpox virus, you have it only once in your life, after that you acquire immunity… Its contamination is very rapid. This is why in the fishing villages where there is great promiscuity, it may seem logical that the disease affects so many people in such a short time,” he says.

“The treatment is just symptomatic with antiseptics to wash off and also antihistamines to stop the itching. At times to avoid bacterial superinfection, antibiotics can be added. This treatment bears fruit two or even three weeks later,” adds the doctor, who speaks anonymously.

“Chickenpox in children is less severe than in adults. That is to say, the longer we delay having Chickenpox, the more likely we are to get quite severe Chickenpox like what we are currently seeing in these young adult fishermen. We should isolate them, give them symptomatic treatment, and wait for spontaneous healing…” he concludes.

First result from the researchers

Present at the closing of the World Day of Artisanal Fisheries in Diamniadio, the Senegalese Minister of Fisheries, Alioune Ndoye, revealed the origin of the mysterious disease plaguing the fishermen of Thiaroye-Sur-Mer, would not be chemical. “Note that for the moment, the first results have come back to us, and it is not chemical pollution or anything else,” he said.

The analyses by the Environmental Chemistry Unit of the Regional Centre for Research in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety show that toxic elements have been noticed.

Indeed, according to these scientists, the four samples tested all contain phthalic acid, sulfur, benzene dicarboxylic acid, and hexadecanoic acid. In their conclusion, the researchers ask the authorities to submit these results to toxicologists for further research and focus research on fishermen’s nets.


The Senegalese fishermen will demonstrate on December 4 to challenge this country’s authorities on the difficulties they encounter daily in their life as “people of the sea”. According to information from the newspaper L’Observateur, the fishermen, struck by a mysterious disease contracted at sea, decided to beat the tarmac on December 4, from the Place de la Nation.

The aim of the fishermen’s demonstration is none other than to force the state to look into their many difficulties: from the scarcity of fish resulting from the plundering of waters by foreign boats, mysterious disease that affects them, the origin of which has still not been determined despite the many analyses and tests carried out.

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