Flu: Hajj pilgrims at risk urged to stay home

2009-10-01 00:00

NETCARE Travel Clinics have advised pregnant women, children, the elderly and those with chronic diseases to stay at home this Hajj amid concerns of a swine flu outbreak.

Muslim pilgrims from all over the world will converge on Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for this spiritual journey, which takes place from November 25 to 29. About 5 000 South Africans are expected to go.

Dr Pete Vincent of Netcare Travel Clinics said Saudi authorities are satisfied that they are taking every necessary precaution to avoid swine flu among pilgrims.

He said experts are advising those most at risk of contracting the virus to avoid the Hajj for now.

He said pilgrims from all over the world should be vaccinated two weeks before being granted a Hajj visa.

“Be sure to check which vaccinations are required and that you can produce the necessary vaccination certificates to prove that you have complied with all of the requirements before leaving on pilgrimage,” Vincent advises.

For further queries visit www.travelclinic.co.za or e-mail travelinfo@netcare.co.za

Travel Clinics in KZN:

Netcare Travel Clinic Pinetown at 031 709 3070

Netcare Travel Clinic Umhlanga at 031 582 5300.

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