Meningococcal disease appears to alert travelers to KSA

Meningococcal disease cases appear that hold any traveler’s leg from worldwide to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for a little while. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) issued the HAN (Health Alert Network) Health Advisory to alert healthcare providers to cases of meningococcal disease linked to Umrah travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia(KSA) for this year’s pilgrimage event will be held for Hajj, The Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, all Muslims are expected to make at least once during their lifetime in this year,  June 14 to 19.

Since April 2024, 12 cases of meningococcal disease linked to KSA travel for Umrah have been reported to national public health agencies in the US(5 cases), France(4 cases), and the UK(3 cases). Two cases were in children aged 18 to the aged under 18, four cases were 18 to 44, and two cases were 65 and older. 10 patients traveled to KSA and 2 patients had contacted with travelers to KSA.

How to minimize preveiling this meningococcal disease from people who might have it?

The Virginia Department of Health has pieces of information about this disease, this Neisseria meningitides bacteria are spread from person to person through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions. The infected person can spread the bacteria by coughing or sneezing directly into the face of others, kissing a person on the mouth, sharing cups, and water bottles, and eating utensils, cigarettes, vapes, lipstick, or toothbrushes.

Immediately seek medical attention if you, your child, or another close contact develops symptoms of meningococcal disease: fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, photophobia (eyes being more sensitive to light), or altered mental status(confusion). If the disease goes to bloodstream infection then many unwanted symptoms will appear such as severe fever with chills, fatigue, vomiting, cold hands and feet, severe aches and pains, rapid breathing, diarrhea, or in later stages, a dark purple rash.

The initial symptoms of meningococcal disease can at first be vague, but worsen rapidly, and can become life-threatening within hours.  Travelers should take the vaccine at least 10 days ahead of time of travel to KSA. However, the vaccine is not a guarantee the prevent this disease,” [The] meningococcal vaccination coverage among Umrah travelers is known to be incomplete,” according to the CDC.


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