Millions of Muslims from around the world are expected to take part in the Hajj this October. Once a year, pilgrims make the journey to Mecca in Saudi Arabia and pray together before the Kaaba. There is reasonable fear of the MERS coronavirus, and its future contamination.
So far, 38 people have died in Saudi Arabia from the virus. The government has asked its people to wear masks when in crowded areas to assist with the prevention of infection.
The virus was discovered in September of 2012 in Saudi Arabia. Cases have developed in other countries, but have been traced back to travel in the Mid East. 80 cases have been reported worldwide, and a total of 44 deaths.
The ‘Middle East Respiratory Syndrome’, MERS, is related to both the common cold and SARS, and has similar symptoms. This coronavirus also attacks the kidneys, and has a higher death rate than SARS.
The Saudi government has suggested that residents diligently adhere to a good hygiene regimen, and use a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
The gathering of millions in October, has created additional fear about MERS and its future contamination in Saudi Arabia.
Alfred James reporting