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Health advisory issued for Haj pilgrims

Updated July 19, 2019

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The National Institute of Health (NIH) has issued an advisory for Haj pilgrims regarding prevention and control of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV), which is commonly known as ‘Mers’. — AFP/File
The National Institute of Health (NIH) has issued an advisory for Haj pilgrims regarding prevention and control of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV), which is commonly known as ‘Mers’. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The National Institute of Health (NIH) has issued an advisory for Haj pilgrims regarding prevention and control of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV), which is commonly known as ‘Mers’.

It advised the pilgrims with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, chronic lung diseases and immunodeficiency to consult their physicians before leaving for Saudi Arabia whether making the pilgrimage is advisable for them.

The Haj pilgrims from around the globe not only bring different diseases with them, but also carry viruses while returning to their countries.

Talking to Dawn, Dr Waseem Khawaja of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences said that Mers is a variety of influenza virus but its incubation period is just one week and because of it most of the body organs stop working.

“Virus enters the body through breathing due to which respiratory system is affected and within days the patient is put on a ventilator. The Haj pilgrims should wear masks and in case of flu, cough or fever they should get them tested. They should increase intake of liquids and keep washing hands after interaction with people,” he said.

Published in Dawn, July 19th, 2019