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Saudi Authorities Take Ebola, MERS Precautions During Hajj Pilgrimage To Mecca

News outlets report on safeguards being taken to prevent the spread of Ebola and MERS during the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Deutsche Welle: Ebola casts shadow over Mecca
“The annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca has begun. But this year, there will be fewer Muslims from West Africa. They have been refused entry to Saudi Arabia because of the Ebola virus devastating their home…” (Hille, 10/2).

New York Times: Mideast Virus MERS Merits Caution, Not Alarm, WHO Says
“Despite their worries earlier this year, world health authorities say there is little reason to fear that the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which began Thursday, will spread the MERS virus widely around the world. But they are emphasizing that vigilance is still important…” (McNeil, 10/2).

Reuters: Saudi authorities on Ebola watch as millions gather for hajj
“Anxious to safeguard Islam’s hajj pilgrimage from the threat of Ebola, Saudi authorities are screening pilgrims arriving from West Africa and have deployed mobile laboratories to test any suspected cases quickly…” (Bakr, 10/2).

Reuters: MERS patient in Austria assumed infectious on Doha-Vienna flight: WHO
“A Saudi woman suffering from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is assumed to have been infectious when she flew from Doha to Vienna on Sept. 22, the World Health Organization said on Thursday…” (Miles/Nasralla, 10/2).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.