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Travel epidemiology: the Saudi perspective.
Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2003 Feb; 21(2):96-101.IJ

Abstract

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia occupies four-fifths of the Arabian Peninsula, with a land area of 2 million square kilometres. Saudi Arabia holds a unique position in the Islamic world, as the custodian of the two holiest places of Islam, in Mecca and Medina. Annually, some 2 million Muslims from over 140 countries embark on Hajj. This extraordinary en masse migration is a unique forum for the study of travel epidemiology since the Hajj carries various health risks, both communicable and non-communicable, often on a colossal scale. Non-communicable hazards of the Hajj include stampede and motor vehicle trauma, fire-related burn injuries and accidental hand injury during animal slaughter. Communicable hazards in the form of outbreaks of multiple infectious diseases have been reported repeatedly, during and following the Hajj. Meningococcal meningitis, gastroenteritis, hepatitis A, B and C, and various zoonotic diseases comprise some of the possible infectious hazards at the Hajj. Many of these infectious and non-infectious hazards can be avoided or averted by adopting appropriate prophylactic measures. Physicians and health personnel must be aware of these risks to appropriately educate, immunize and prepare these travellers facing the unique epidemiological challenges of Hajj in an effort to minimize untoward effects. Travel epidemiology related to the Hajj is a new and exciting area, which offers valuable insights to the travel specialist. The sheer scale of numbers affords a rare view of migration medicine in action. As data is continually gathered and both national and international policy making is tailored to vital insights gained through travel epidemiology, the Hajj will be continually safeguarded. Practitioners will gain from findings of travel related epidemiological changes in evolution at the Hajj: the impact of vaccinating policies, infection control policies and public health are afforded a real-world laboratory setting at each annual Hajj, allowing us to learn from this unique phenomenon of migration medicine.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, King Fahad National Guard Hospital, P.O. Box 22490, Riyadh 11426, Saudi Arabia. memish@ngha.med.saNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

12615370

Citation

Memish, Ziad A., et al. "Travel Epidemiology: the Saudi Perspective." International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, vol. 21, no. 2, 2003, pp. 96-101.
Memish ZA, Venkatesh S, Ahmed QA. Travel epidemiology: the Saudi perspective. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2003;21(2):96-101.
Memish, Z. A., Venkatesh, S., & Ahmed, Q. A. (2003). Travel epidemiology: the Saudi perspective. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, 21(2), 96-101.
Memish ZA, Venkatesh S, Ahmed QA. Travel Epidemiology: the Saudi Perspective. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2003;21(2):96-101. PubMed PMID: 12615370.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Travel epidemiology: the Saudi perspective. AU - Memish,Ziad A, AU - Venkatesh,S, AU - Ahmed,Qanta A, PY - 2003/3/5/pubmed PY - 2003/12/4/medline PY - 2003/3/5/entrez SP - 96 EP - 101 JF - International journal of antimicrobial agents JO - Int J Antimicrob Agents VL - 21 IS - 2 N2 - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia occupies four-fifths of the Arabian Peninsula, with a land area of 2 million square kilometres. Saudi Arabia holds a unique position in the Islamic world, as the custodian of the two holiest places of Islam, in Mecca and Medina. Annually, some 2 million Muslims from over 140 countries embark on Hajj. This extraordinary en masse migration is a unique forum for the study of travel epidemiology since the Hajj carries various health risks, both communicable and non-communicable, often on a colossal scale. Non-communicable hazards of the Hajj include stampede and motor vehicle trauma, fire-related burn injuries and accidental hand injury during animal slaughter. Communicable hazards in the form of outbreaks of multiple infectious diseases have been reported repeatedly, during and following the Hajj. Meningococcal meningitis, gastroenteritis, hepatitis A, B and C, and various zoonotic diseases comprise some of the possible infectious hazards at the Hajj. Many of these infectious and non-infectious hazards can be avoided or averted by adopting appropriate prophylactic measures. Physicians and health personnel must be aware of these risks to appropriately educate, immunize and prepare these travellers facing the unique epidemiological challenges of Hajj in an effort to minimize untoward effects. Travel epidemiology related to the Hajj is a new and exciting area, which offers valuable insights to the travel specialist. The sheer scale of numbers affords a rare view of migration medicine in action. As data is continually gathered and both national and international policy making is tailored to vital insights gained through travel epidemiology, the Hajj will be continually safeguarded. Practitioners will gain from findings of travel related epidemiological changes in evolution at the Hajj: the impact of vaccinating policies, infection control policies and public health are afforded a real-world laboratory setting at each annual Hajj, allowing us to learn from this unique phenomenon of migration medicine. SN - 0924-8579 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/12615370/Travel_epidemiology:_the_Saudi_perspective_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0924857902003643 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -