Anxious eye on virus as pilgrims start moving
“As millions of Muslim pilgrims prepare to converge on holy sites in Saudi Arabia this [northern] autumn, the global health community is anxiously monitoring an outbreak of a respiratory virus known as Mers.
The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus has infected at least 77 people, killing 42. Sixty-two of those infected became ill in Saudi Arabia, with 36 deaths.
Could the pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, as vast crowds from around the world gather at holy sites in Mecca and elsewhere, trigger a wider global outbreak, echoing the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) epidemic that swept the world a decade ago?”