Health experts from the Association of British Hujjaj (pilgrims) UK (ABH), a National Hajj and Umrah specific organisation working for the welfare and wellbeing of British pilgrims have warned that pilgrims are at a higher risk of contracting infectious diseases due to crowded conditions at ceremonies, accommodation sites and on public transports. In such situations, infections are bound to spread easily. Germs spread by droplets from our mouth as we speak, when we cough, or by direct contact as in sharing utensils.
They strongly urged pilgrims to take preventative measures against life threatening infectious diseases like Meningitis and Hepatitis. Meningitis is a well known notorious killer disease. It is highly infectious and rapidly spreads from one person to another. It is literally incurable and the mortality rate is very high and those few who do manage to survive through most intensive hospital treatment often end up with all the miserable sequelae like damage to the brain, kidneys, lungs and the limbs etc. Sadly, their quality of life is very poor indeed. In recent years, over 20 British pilgrims have lost their lives due to meningitis outbreak.
The health experts also warned that some barbers around the Holy places pose a risk of spreading blood-borne diseases, such as Hepatitis by using the same razors repeatedly. Therefore, pilgrims are advised to be aware of the risk of using the services by these barbers and must insist the barbers to use disposable razors to shave.