Travel operators ‘dismissing’ meningitis threat

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A BIRMINGHAM charity has claimed Hajj pilgrims are being put in danger by some travel operators who are dismissing the importance of being vaccinated against meningitis.

The Association of British Hujjaj UK, based in Birmingham, said some travel operators were advising Hajj pilgrims against the important vaccine.

They accused the operators of obtaining the visas for them from Saudi embassies by producing forged meningitis vaccination.

Dr Syed Raza Hussain, senior GP and Executive Member of the charity said: “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.”

Many pilgrims are also checked by authorities once they land in Saudi Arabia to make sure they have been vaccinated.

The Meningitis Trust also reiterated the importance of the vaccination.

Sue Davie, Chief Executive of the Meningitis Trust said: “People need to be fully aware of the dangers of meningitis both in the UK and abroad and receive appropriate protection where available.

Survivors can be left with disabling after-effects, including brain damage, deafness and, where septicaemia has occurred, loss of limbs.”

Over 2 million pilgrims will converge in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, from all over the world including about 25,000 from Britain, to perform Hajj by the end of this month.

 

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