Cholera : risk of spread in the pilgrimage of Mecca

Health 16 July, 2017


Published the 16.07.2017 to 11: 05


Keywords :

choléraArabie Saouditeépidémiepèlerinage

“The cholera outbreak in Yemen is out of control,” said the international Committee of the Red Cross, on July 10. The country, in the throes of a civil war, and undermined by this infectious disease, which has already affected more than 300,000 people, and caused at least 1,600 deaths.

Given the magnitude of the epidemic, the world health Organization (WHO) expressed concern about a potential risk of spread during the pilgrimage to Mecca, in the neighbouring country of Saudi Arabia. The event is religious will take place during a small week, between the end of August and beginning of September.

An ideal situation for the spread

Each year, the pilgrimage brings together in a reduced space several million people, half of whom are foreigners, thus providing an ideal framework for the spread of diseases such as meningitis, bean yellow, dengue or Zika, reminiscent of the un organization. But this year, it is the cholera that is of concern.

“The heavy concentrations of population associated with poor hygiene play an important role in the onset and development of a cholera epidemic “, points out the Pasteur Institute.

This fact, however, several years that Saudi Arabia has not had to deal with an epidemic. The public authorities have put in place systems of surveillance and screening to avoid any risk. “According to me, they are well prepared,” said Dominique Legros, an epidemiologist with the WHO, an expert on cholera.