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.

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 April 20, 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 April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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