2015 Pilgrimage to Mecca
Travelers Subject to Sanitary Provisions
To obtain entry visas for the Hajj season and Umra in 2015, the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia issued recommendations and provisions to be observed for travelers
1. Vaccination against yellow fever
The International Health Regulations 2005, all travelers from countries or territories where there is a risk of transmission of yellow fever (Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, and Chad Togo; Americas: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guiana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago) must present a yellow fever vaccination certificate attesting that the subject has been vaccinated more than 10 days and less than 10 years before his time at the border.
In the absence of such a certificate, the person will be placed under strict surveillance for 6 days from the date of vaccination or the last date of potential exposure to the virus, according to that which is the earlier.
2. Vaccination against meningococcal meningitis
A) For all arrivals: visitors worldwide (adults and children over 2 years) arriving to perform the ‘Umra’ pilgrimage or for seasonal work must present a certificate of vaccination against meningitis with the quadrivalent vaccine ACYW, established less than 3 years and more than 10 days before arrival in Saudi Arabia.
B) For arrivals from countries part of the “belt” African meningitis, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger , Nigeria, Central African Republic, Senegal, Sudan, South Sudan and Chad. In addition to the measures mentioned above, chemoprophylaxis will be administered at entry points to reduce the number of carriers among adults and children over 12, who will receive one tablet of 500 mg ciprofloxacin.
3. Vaccination against polio
A vaccination certificate certifying that they have received oral polio vaccine (OPV) or inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) during the previous 12 months and at least four weeks before their application for obtaining an entry visa for the Saudi Arabia will be asked all travelers coming from countries, territories or areas (on May 16, 2015):
A) In which indigenous virus transmission has never been interrupted, namely Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan (on 30 June 2015);
B) Having been re-infected in the last 12 months by imported cases of polio or of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus strain, including Cameroon and Somalia;
C) Remain vulnerable to polio: West Bank and Gaza Strip, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
All travelers from these countries will also administer 1 dose of OPV at points of entry upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia also encourages vaccination of travelers from polio-free countries but in which a particular risk of reimportation of the virus remains (e.g., India and Indonesia).
4. Vaccination against seasonal influenza
The Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia recommends that pilgrims from abroad to be vaccinated against influenza with the most recent vaccines before they arrive in the country. This recommendation is especially true for people at high risk of serious influenza infection, including pregnant women, children older than 5 years, the elderly and individuals with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, problems chronic respiratory, heart disease or immunosuppressed individuals.
It is strictly forbidden to anyone traveling to the Hajj pilgrimage and the “Umra” to bring with them food in Saudi Arabia. Only be accepted food properly canning and just sufficient to allow the traveler to sustain until his arrival.
6. International action Outbreak
This year, for their own safety, the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia recommends that the following categories of people not to travel to the Hajj pilgrimage and the “Umra”: persons aged 65 and over; subjects with chronic diseases (heart disease, kidney failure, respiratory problems, diabetes); pilgrims with immunodeficiency (congenital or acquired) or with serious illnesses or terminally ill; pregnant women; and children under 12 years.
To prevent the spread of infectious respiratory diseases, the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia also recommends that all pilgrims to respect the following health recommendations:
• Wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer, especially after coughing or sneezing.
• Wash hands after using the toilet, before touching or eating food, after touching animals.
• Use disposable tissues when coughing or sneezing and put them in the trash after use.
• Wear masks in crowded places.
• Avoid direct contact with sick people cough, sneeze, expectorate, vomit or suffer from diarrhea and do not share personal items.
• Avoid close contact with animals, especially camels, when one goes on farms, in markets, barns or stables.
• Avoid drinking raw camel milk and camel urine, or from eating meat that is undercooked.
• It is highly recommended to all travelers to be current on their vaccinations for all vaccine-preventable diseases.
Source: World Health Organization (WHO) Weekly Epidemiological Record No. 31, 2015, 90, 381-392 of July 31, 2015.
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