Respiratory Tract Infection among Hajj Pilgrims

Document Type : Review Article


1 Respiratory Department, Imam Reza Hospital, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Pediatric Department, Najmieh Hospital, Baqiyatallah University of medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Health Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran


The Hajj has become the epicenter of mass migration of millions of Muslims of enormous ethnic diversity. No other mass gathering can compare, either in scale or in regularity. Respiratory tract infection during Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) is a common illness, and it is responsible for most of the hospital admissions. Influenza virus is the leading cause of upper respiratory tract infection during Hajj, and pneumonia can be serious. Taking into account the close contacts among the pilgrims, as well as the crowding, the potential for transmission of M. tuberculosis is expected to be high. Although vaccination program for influenza is implemented, its efficacy is uncertain in this relus season. Future studies should concentrate on prevention and mitigation of these infections.