Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hajj Pilgrims Should Get Flu Jab To Avoid Pandemic, Doctors Urge

Date:
December 8, 2006
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Flu vaccination should be mandatory for all Hajj pilgrims to minimise the risk of a global pandemic, say doctors in this week's British Medical Journal. At the end of next month Saudi Arabia will again host the Hajj -- the largest annual gathering in the world -- which attracts more than two million pilgrims from almost every country on earth.

Flu vaccination should be mandatory for all Hajj pilgrims to minimise the risk of a global pandemic, say doctors in this week's British Medical Journal.

Related Articles


At the end of next month Saudi Arabia will again host the Hajj -- the largest annual gathering in the world -- which attracts more than two million pilgrims from almost every country on earth.

For the individual pilgrim this is a deeply spiritual journey, but from a public health perspective, such a gathering makes the possible rampant spread of the influenza virus and a global pandemic a potentially devastating prospect that has been inadequately prepared for, write Professor Aziz Sheikh and colleagues.

Overcrowding is considerable throughout Hajj and it has been estimated that more than one in three pilgrims will experience respiratory symptoms during their stay.

Although the Saudi authorities recommend flu vaccination for pilgrims with chronic illnesses, data show that many high risk pilgrims remain unimmunised. For example, in a letter to this week's BMJ, researchers found worryingly low rates of vaccination among British Muslims attending Hajj in 2005 and 2006.

And the situation is probably far worse among the large numbers of people coming from the economically developing world, add the authors.

Given this fact and the risks of a pandemic originating from the Hajj, mandatory influenza vaccination for all pilgrims should be considered, they write. Meningococcal vaccination for Hajj is already mandatory, so this extra vaccination should not be too inconvenient and should be readily acceptable.

Virus surveillance to identify newly emerging strains is also urgently needed, they say.

The World Health Organisation must work with the Saudi authorities to minimise the risk of the influenza virus spreading among pilgrims (and the rest of us). A coherent international response will be needed to ensure that the resources and logistics are in place so that these strategies can be implemented, they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Hajj Pilgrims Should Get Flu Jab To Avoid Pandemic, Doctors Urge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 December 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061208101654.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2006, December 8). Hajj Pilgrims Should Get Flu Jab To Avoid Pandemic, Doctors Urge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061208101654.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Hajj Pilgrims Should Get Flu Jab To Avoid Pandemic, Doctors Urge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061208101654.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

AFP (Jan. 25, 2015) The World Health Organization&apos;s chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins