A leading private clinic is offering ten per cent off all travel vaccinations and malaria medications for Hajj pilgrims in an attempt to reduce the potential health risks.
Harley Street's Number One Health warns that many of the two million pilgrims who make the journey to Mecca from across the world are unaware of the infectious diseases that are commonly contracted en route.
Charlie Easmon, the clinic's medical director, said that while sunstroke and heat exhaustion are common among Hajj pilgrims, infectious diseases cause the major problems.
"The most common diseases that I have seen contracted during the Hajj pilgrimage include hepatitis, meningitis and more recently flu," he revealed.
"With high numbers of people in close proximity, many from disparate regions, diseases can easily be passed on."
According to Mr Easmon, the hostile climate found in the Arabian Desert makes diseases all the more likely, especially among the elderly and unwell, and illnesses are easily passed between pilgrims.
While proof of vaccination against meningococcal meningitis is required for entry into the country, Mr Easmon also recommends obtaining a vaccination against hepatitis A and B, as well as taking anti-malarial tablets ahead of departure.
"There are also other health threats that might be overlooked, like opportunistic barbers offering to shave male pilgrims' heads, one of the rites of Hajj," he adds.
"The common re-use of blades can expose pilgrims to blood borne infections like HIV, hepatitis B and C."
Hajj pilgrims are urged to contact the travel clinic to claim the special ten per cent discount on flu and travel vaccinations, as well as anti-malaria medication.
© Adfero Ltd
Private treatment news : 21/12/2006