2013 Hajj Scare: Fresh Virus Outbreaks In Mecca, Medina

Thirty-eight people have been confirmed dead from a new virus infection in Saudi Arabia called Middle East respiratory-syndrome (MERS).

MERS is a coronavirus which surfaced in the Arabian Peninsula in September 2012 and is part of a large family of viruses, which include the common cold and Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 44 deaths and 80 cases have been recorded from the virus infection worldwide since 2012 when it was first noticed.

However, the Ministry of Health (MoH), and Saudi Arabia health authorities have asked this year’s pilgrims to wear masks in crowded places to stop the spread of the MERS coronavirus.

The Health Ministry has also asked elderly people or those with chronic diseases to postpone their pilgrimage this year.

Millions of Muslims from around the world are expected to take part in this year’s Hajj in October, visiting religious sites in Mecca in Saudi Arabia, while offering special pray together before the Kaaba.

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