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Flu fears deterring Haj pilgrims

Flu fears deterring Haj pilgrims

Four pilgrims have died of the H1N1 virus during the Haj this year, but officials say they have taken adequate precautionary measures to prevent an outbreak.

November 25, 2009 10:19 by

“The World Health Organization never issued a warning against the H1N1 virus vaccine. It recommended the vaccine. While more than 70 million people the world over have been vaccinated none of them is known to have shown any negative indications,” he said.

Al-Mirghalani also said that all the hospitals and medical centers in Mecca and Medina were prepared to handle flu cases. The ministry has also assembled more than 17,600 medical staff, including doctors, technicians and nurses to provide medical services to pilgrims.

The health ministry has also urged pilgrims to use their own disposable shaving equipment. It warned them about the equipment used in barbershops – razors, brushes or powder that could contain harmful germs and could transmit other infectious diseases.

Every year around two million people arrive in Mecca for the Haj pilgrimage.

According to the latest figures from the WHO, more than 6,770 people worldwide have been killed because of the H1N1 virus.

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