MOH News
Medical Tips for Pilgrims Suffering from Chronic Diseases
01 October 2013
The Consultant of Epidemic Diseases and Fever, Dr. Nisreen Al-Sherbini, said that the novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is transmitted from the infected person to the other family members through the droplets released during coughing and sneezing; therefore, she advised persons to stay away from the infected or suspected persons, wear a protective mask that covers the nose and mouth in cases of mass gatherings, and follow up the etiquette of sneezing and coughing. In the case of suspicion of infection when the symptoms of coughing and high temperature (38 degrees or more) appear with shortness of breath, the pilgrim must visit the nearest health center for checkup, and starting of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures immediately.
 
Dr. Al-Sherbini highlighted also that the symptoms of the novel Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) are similar to those of many respiratory infections, including the acute influenza viral infection, adding that the only way to differentiate between such symptoms is to conduct some laboratory and x-rays tests.
 
Within the same vein, Dr. Al-Sherbini advised all pilgrims, from inside and outside, to abide by the awareness advices provided by the concerned authorities, and to postpone the pilgrimage this year for the elderly people and those suffering from chronic diseases; in order to avoid exposure to this virus until it is eliminated or put under control.
It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Health (MOH) has hosted Dr. Nisreen Al-Sherbini at the Program (Pilgrims' Health is Our Concern) in order to provide the pilgrims and their families with information on all precautions to be taken before performing this pillar of Islam via the toll-free number: 8002494444; and through the MOH's account on Twitter: @ saudimoh.
 
Furthermore, Dr. Al-Sherbini pointed out that one of the effective vaccines to be taken by any person wishing to perform Hajj is the meningitis vaccine which is given every three years, if necessary. In addition, Dr. Al-Sherbini focused on the importance of taking the vaccine of the seasonal influenza at least two weeks before leaving for the holy sites, highlighting that this vaccine can highly protect the pilgrim from the influenza infection, especially that the pilgrimage season during this year and the several coming years is to witness the autumn and winter seasons (October, January), a period in which the seasonal influenza is spread.
 
Moreover, Dr. Al-Sherbini added that the most common diseases to be spread through infection in the mass gathering places such as the pilgrimage season are the respiratory diseases, more importantly, the temporary viral infections (runny nose, coughing and congestion) which do not often require any antibiotics unless they are originated by bacteria, and this matter is determined only by the treating physician. Hence, the infected person is advised to get some rest, drink fluids as much as possible, and take drugs alleviating the temperature and congestion. In the severe cases, the respiratory infection is turned into a pulmonary infection, making it necessary to obtain antibiotic under medical supervision.
 
Proceeding from the fact that most bacterial diseases causing pulmonary infections may result in other complications, especially for the elderly people and those suffering from chronic diseases, Dr. Al-Sherbini advised all pilgrims at the age of 65 years and above as well as all those suffering from renal failure, asthma, heart diseases and other chronic diseases to take (Pneumococcal Vaccine), a vaccine protects against this type of bacteria and is given every five years, if necessary.
 
On the other hand, Dr. Naelah Abul-Jadayel, the Consultant of Chest Diseases, is to be hosted at MOH's Media and Health Information Center on Wednesday 26/11/1434H (corresponding to 2/10/2013) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.; in order to respond to all callers’ questions and provide them with answers and medical advices via the toll-free number: 8002494444; and through the MOH's account on Twitter: @ saudimoh.
 
 



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