Contagious diseases a concern during Hajj pilgrimage

Ebola Outbreak

Pilgrim in Mecca A Muslim pilgrim wearing a mask leaves after the esha’a prayer at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, on September 28, 2014 as hundreds of thousands of Muslims have poured into the holy city of Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage. The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and is mandatory once in a lifetime for all Muslims provided they are physically fit and financially capable. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH

Large numbers of Muslims will be packed closely together during the rituals of the Hajj. Concerns are surfacing over the possible spread of contagious diseases, however the Saudi government says there’s nothing to fear. CCTV America’s Adel EL Mahrouky reports.

Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, is presenting one more reason for people to worry about the global outbreak of the Ebola virus, especially as the country saw an outbreak of MERS, or the Coronavirus, this spring.

Contagious diseases a concern during Hajj pilgrimage

Contagious diseases a concern during Hajj pilgrimage

Large numbers of Muslims will be packed closely together during the rituals of the Hajj. Concerns are surfacing over the possible spread of contagious diseases, however the Saudi government says there's nothing to fear. CCTV America's Adel EL Mahrouky reports.

About 1.4 million foreign pilgrims from across the world will visit the same sites in Mecca, and it’s a fertile environment for any contagious disease to spread. Many pilgrims are not aware that the virus can be prevented with something as simple as washing their hands with soap.

Concerned about a possible outbreak, the Saudi government has banned visas to would-be travelers from Ebola-infected countries such as Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. All the medical facilities in the area were on high alert when the Hajj began on Saturday.

Hospitals and clinics began preparations two months ago just to serve pilgrims during their two-day visit. On October 2nd, the health ministry said there were no cases of Ebola or the Coronavirus reported.

For more on the Hajj pilgrimage this year and how current world crises are affecting the mood in Mecca, CCTV America spoke to Ebrahim Moosa, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Notre Dame.

How world crises affect the mood in Mecca for Hajj

How world crises affect the mood in Mecca for Hajj

For more on the Hajj pilgrimage this year and how current world crises are affecting the mood in Mecca, CCTV America spoke to Ebrahim Moosa, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Notre Dame.