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Mecca-The Hajj-Mass spread of Swine Flu

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Medclinician View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 01 2009 at 5:00am
2.5 million people will heading towards Mecca to probably engage in the largest exchange of flu virus on earth during this Pandemic.

New York Times said-

Every year, the single largest gathering on the planet is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca: 2.5 million people from 160 countries packed into a small city in Saudi Arabia for five days.

A photo taken during Ramadan in Mecca




Muslims leaders for probably one of the first times in history have asked devout Muslims not to make the holy pilgrimage. It will turn their city into a melting pot for virus mutation.
Will there requests be heeded by the millions coming to Mecca?  It seems unlikely.

Who will be monitoring the situation-the main high power Naval lab for the Middle East -
Namru-3.  http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/namru3/CommandInfo/Pages/AboutUs.aspx

Why should we be concerned about this event? Because a similar event was responsible for the development of the flu strain resistant to Tamiflu in 2008.

In July 2008, about 200,000 Catholics from all over the world converged on Sydney, Australia, for World Youth Day, attended by the new pope, Benedict XVI, during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter. There was a major flu outbreak, and a Tamiflu-resistant strain of seasonal flu established itself and then spread to the Northern Hemisphere, including to the United States, last winter.

comment: now that was 200,000 Catholics. Here we are talking about 2.5 million Muslims. It seems we continue to do things the are irresponsible and yet so firmly entrenched in society that no one can stop them. If schools had not gone back in session the spread of H1N1 in the U.S. would have been decreased by 40%.

The timing of the Hajj this year is probably near the worst time it could occur in terms of our flu Pandemic. People are packed so close near the swine that one person falling can set up a group fall in which hundreds are crushed to death. That is way too close for that many people with a contagious flu.

Hajj is expected to fall between November 25-30, 2009.

The exact dates of Islamic holidays cannot be determined in advance, due to the nature of the Islamic lunar calendar. Estimates are based on expected visibility of the hilal (waxing crescent moon following a new moon) and may vary according to location.

In about 4 weeks about 2.5 million Muslims will converge to likely exchange swine flu virus. The group of Muslims going to Mecca in the U.S. is currently not a high priority risk group and is unlikely to receive the vaccine- which according to new information may be extremely scant and hard to get  in America.

Medclinician
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