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 December 18, 2014 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 December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) 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