ECDC publishes rapid risk assessment on public health risks during the hajj 2019

09 July 2019

Article: 53/2703

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published a rapid risk assessment for the hajj, which will take place between 9 and 14 August 2019. 

The risk of infection with communicable diseases for EU/EEA citizens during the 2019 hajj is considered low, due to vaccination requirements for travelling to Makkah (Mecca) and the Saudi Arabian preparedness plans for health hazards during and after the hajj.

The risk of communicable disease outbreaks at mass gathering events is greatest for food- and waterborne diseases and respiratory diseases. Outbreaks of MERS-CoV continue to be reported from the Arabian Peninsula, specifically from Saudi Arabia, which implies that there is a risk of importation of cases to Europe after the hajj.

The risk of vaccine-preventable and vector-borne diseases is considered low if preventive measures are applied. Health Protection Scotland (HPS) previously published information for travellers to Saudi Arabia for the hajj pilgrimage in 2019 (see current note 53/2505).

Source: ECDC, 2 July 2019