Pilgrims Asked to Drop Plans to Haj because of Fear of MERS Virus

MERSIt has been reported that MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus) virus has spread to UK. There are fears of an outbreak. UK has become the first country to have issued a notification to people above 65 years of age. It has notified that all the pilgrims aged 65 years or above in Britain must drop their plans of Haj. The suggestions have come to UK from the ministry of health in Saudi Arabia.

The notification has been announced by Public Health England (PHE) and National Travel Health Network and Centre. They have said that all those people who have any plans to go to Saudi Arabia must cancel this idea because of health concerns.

All those who have been suffering from diseases like heart, kidney or respiratory disease, diabetes, immune deficiency and cancer must postpone their visit. This in context that the government fears that Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) virus can spread in UK.

An official notification has been sent to pregnant women and children under 12 years of age. They have been called as the most vulnerable sections who must avoid their trip to Haj. This virus is akin to SARS-like virus.

Director of global health at PHE, Dr Brian McCloskey has said, "A large population from around the world confined to one area has historically increased the risk of infectious disease outbreaks, in particular meningitis and respiratory infections".

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