Travel advisory for pilgrimage to Mecca

Travel advisory for pilgrimage to Mecca

The US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel advisory for pilgrims going to Hajj (the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca), due to the unique health risks associated with mass gatherings due to the crowds.

The CDC has advised travellers to make an appointment with a travel medicine specialist or their healthcare provider at least four to six weeks before travelling to get the required vaccines and medicines. It also recommends that all travellers keep up to date on routine vaccinations such as influenza and measles. Further advice is to check with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for its most current vaccine requirements.

During their trip, travellers are advised to take steps to avoid illness such as washing their hands often with soap and water, avoiding touching their eyes, nose or mouth, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. In addition, it is recommended that they protect themselves from hot temperatures and sun exposure and follow security and safety advice for mass gatherings.