#MERS,Hajj and weak signals of an outbreak

When reviewing some of the last outbreak,especially Ebola in West Africa, we can identify clues, facts which might have been classified as weak signals of the spread of an outbreak. The chronicle of a death foretold….

signaux faibles_weak signals

Medical scientists community is raising alarm about MERS coronavirus since 2013, by following clusters then outbreak of MERS cases. Recently, it has been demonstrated that nosocomial outbreak model can be exported and may be consider as a public health Emergency of international concern ( PHEIC).

Today, as the Hajj will start around September 21st, we have to address a risk Hajj_locations_and_ritesassessment of Mers for’the huge amount of Pilgrims traveling to and from Mecca, Jeddah and Madinah, holy locations.

As explained before, nosocomial outbreak is a sum of several hazards occurring at the same time and at the same location due to a multifactorial combination.

for more details, refer to Hajj surrounded by sporadic Mers cases and nosocomial infection in Riyadh


Hajj 2015 is gathering several warnings:

  • Mers coronavirus is circulating (Jeddah,Madinah)
  • several clusters
  • big nosocomial outbreak in KAMC-R
  • Gaps and failure of ICP in hospitals
  • weather forecast: extreme heat, sandstorm, storms
  • Huge mass gathering
  • big accident in Mecca with more than hundred deaths at least and numerous casualties due to crane crash in the holy sanctuary => Mass casualties gathering in ER.
  • Camels slaughter in some places
  • Pilgrims behavior and camel food habits (raw milk, meat…)


You may have a look at: Toppling Cranes Aren’t the Only Things Threatening Mecca

and People with chronic diseases advised to postpone Haj as the most exposed People (high risk of MERS) are both elderly and sick ones.

How difficult it is to maintain a healthy and safe environment all around the holy cities: Random camel pens surface anew in JeddahHaj 2015: Pilgrims eat 100 camels a day

Camel pens

Now if we caculate the probability for the emergence of a spread of MERS leading to an outbreak by adding these risk factors, we are between 50% and 1.

2 thoughts on “#MERS,Hajj and weak signals of an outbreak

  1. Pingback: Riyadh’s #MERS outbreak diary | The Ad Spread

  2. Pingback: Hajj 2015, Health and Safety: #MERS is not the main concern! | The Ad Spread

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