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Influenza not MERS CoV among returning Hajj and Umrah pilgrims with respiratory illness, Kashmir, north India, 2014-15.
Travel Med Infect Dis. 2017 Jan - Feb; 15:45-47.TM

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The increasing reports of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) caused by MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) from many countries emphasize its importance for international travel. Muslim pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah involve mass gatherings of international travellers. We set out to assess the presence of influenza and MERS-CoV in Hajj/Umrah returnees with acute respiratory infection. .

METHODS

Disembarking passengers (n = 8753) from Saudi Arabia (October 2014 to April 2015) were interviewed for the presence of respiratory symptoms; 977 (11%) reported symptoms and 300 (age 26-90, median 60 years; 140 male) consented to participate in the study. After recording clinical and demographic data, twin swabs (nasopharyngeal and throat) were collected from each participant, pooled in viral transport media and tested by real-time RT PCR for MERS-CoV and influenza A and B viruses and their subtypes.

RESULTS

The participants had symptoms of 1-15 days (median 5d); cough (90%) and nasal discharge (86%) being the commonest. None of the 300 participants tested positive for MERS-CoV; however, 33 (11%) tested positive for influenza viruses (A/H3N2 = 13, A/H1N1pdm09 = 9 and B/Yamagata = 11). Eighteen patients received oseltamivir. No hospitalizations were needed and all had uneventful recovery.

CONCLUSION

Despite a high prevalence of acute respiratory symptoms, MERS coV was not seen in returning pilgrims from Hajj and Umrah. However detection of flu emphasises preventive strategies like vaccination.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Internal & Pulmonary Medicine, Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Srinagar, J&K, India. Electronic address: parvaizk@gmail.com.Department of Internal & Pulmonary Medicine, Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Srinagar, J&K, India.Influenza Division, US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), India Office, New Delhi, India.National Institute of Virology, Pune, India.National Institute of Virology, Pune, India.Influenza Division, US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA, USA.Influenza Division, US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), India Office, New Delhi, India.Center for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, (AIIMS), New Delhi, India.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27932291

Citation

Koul, Parvaiz A., et al. "Influenza Not MERS CoV Among Returning Hajj and Umrah Pilgrims With Respiratory Illness, Kashmir, North India, 2014-15." Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, vol. 15, 2017, pp. 45-47.
Koul PA, Mir H, Saha S, et al. Influenza not MERS CoV among returning Hajj and Umrah pilgrims with respiratory illness, Kashmir, north India, 2014-15. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2017;15:45-47.
Koul, P. A., Mir, H., Saha, S., Chadha, M. S., Potdar, V., Widdowson, M. A., Lal, R. B., & Krishnan, A. (2017). Influenza not MERS CoV among returning Hajj and Umrah pilgrims with respiratory illness, Kashmir, north India, 2014-15. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 15, 45-47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tmaid.2016.12.002
Koul PA, et al. Influenza Not MERS CoV Among Returning Hajj and Umrah Pilgrims With Respiratory Illness, Kashmir, North India, 2014-15. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2017 Jan - Feb;15:45-47. PubMed PMID: 27932291.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Influenza not MERS CoV among returning Hajj and Umrah pilgrims with respiratory illness, Kashmir, north India, 2014-15. AU - Koul,Parvaiz A, AU - Mir,Hyder, AU - Saha,Siddhartha, AU - Chadha,Mandeep S, AU - Potdar,Varsha, AU - Widdowson,Marc-Alain, AU - Lal,Renu B, AU - Krishnan,Anand, Y1 - 2016/12/06/ PY - 2016/06/22/received PY - 2016/12/03/revised PY - 2016/12/03/accepted PY - 2016/12/10/pubmed PY - 2017/5/11/medline PY - 2016/12/10/entrez KW - Acute respiratory infection KW - Hajj KW - Middle East Respiratory Virus syndrome KW - Pilgrimage SP - 45 EP - 47 JF - Travel medicine and infectious disease JO - Travel Med Infect Dis VL - 15 N2 - BACKGROUND: The increasing reports of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) caused by MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV) from many countries emphasize its importance for international travel. Muslim pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah involve mass gatherings of international travellers. We set out to assess the presence of influenza and MERS-CoV in Hajj/Umrah returnees with acute respiratory infection. . METHODS: Disembarking passengers (n = 8753) from Saudi Arabia (October 2014 to April 2015) were interviewed for the presence of respiratory symptoms; 977 (11%) reported symptoms and 300 (age 26-90, median 60 years; 140 male) consented to participate in the study. After recording clinical and demographic data, twin swabs (nasopharyngeal and throat) were collected from each participant, pooled in viral transport media and tested by real-time RT PCR for MERS-CoV and influenza A and B viruses and their subtypes. RESULTS: The participants had symptoms of 1-15 days (median 5d); cough (90%) and nasal discharge (86%) being the commonest. None of the 300 participants tested positive for MERS-CoV; however, 33 (11%) tested positive for influenza viruses (A/H3N2 = 13, A/H1N1pdm09 = 9 and B/Yamagata = 11). Eighteen patients received oseltamivir. No hospitalizations were needed and all had uneventful recovery. CONCLUSION: Despite a high prevalence of acute respiratory symptoms, MERS coV was not seen in returning pilgrims from Hajj and Umrah. However detection of flu emphasises preventive strategies like vaccination. SN - 1873-0442 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27932291/Influenza_not_MERS_CoV_among_returning_Hajj_and_Umrah_pilgrims_with_respiratory_illness_Kashmir_north_India_2014_15_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1477-8939(16)30208-3 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -