Published On: Thu, Oct 3rd, 2013

Saudi Arabia health officials advise Hajj pilgrims to wear mask, elderly to postpone pilgrimage because of MERS

The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health came out with some advice for pilgrims of the upcoming Hajj later this month in light of the situation in the country with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), according to a news alert Tuesday.


Image/W123 at Wikimedia Commons

Image/W123 at Wikimedia Commons

Consultant of Epidemic Diseases and Fever, Dr. Nisreen Al-Sherbini, is advising people attending mass gatherings like the Hajj, to wear a protective mask that covers the nose and mouth, because the MERS coronavirus is spread via respiratory means.

In addition, Dr. Al-Sherbini says  in the case of suspicion of infection when the symptoms of coughing and high temperature (38 degrees or more) appear with shortness of breath, the pilgrim must visit the nearest health center for checkup, and starting of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures immediately.

Al-Sherbini is also advising the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions to to postpone the pilgrimage this year.

Dr. Al-Sherbini added that the most common diseases to be spread through infection in the mass gathering places such as the pilgrimage season are the respiratory diseases.

According to the most recent Saudi Health Ministry numbers, there has been 114 confirmed MERS cases, with 49 resulting in death.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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