No time for dilemma: mass gatherings must be suspended [Letter]
Covid-19 and community mitigation strategies in a pandemic [Editorial]
The cancellation of mass gatherings (MGs)? Decision making in the time of COVID-19
Our recommendation, as experts who have monitored health hazards at the Hajj for over 15 years, especially if the situation with COVID-19 continues to escalate globally is that Hajj 2020 will be at risk of being suspended and a means for Muslims to fulfill their rights in the future either personally or even by proxy need to be announced. The same holds true for the Summer 2020 Olympics in Japan and for many other MGs and large gatherings. Decisions in the time of COVID-19 will be closely followed and will be a blueprint for other mass gatherings.
From the "Madding Crowd" to mass gatherings-religion, sport, culture and public health
Human behavior has long engaged in collective behavior assembling in crowds. The Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Land has been recorded since the 4th century, while the Hajj, Islam's great pilgrimage, has existed for fourteen centuries, of which a body of literature devoted to the travelogues of the Hajj has been recorded for over ten centuries. Football is a sport played worldwide by more than 1.5 million teams and in 300,000 clubs. Most however play outside of the officially organized sphere: more than 4 percent of the global population plays football, including 270 million amateur players. Assembling for specific events is a uniquely human behavior, though the formal study of crowds did not begin until the mid-Twentieth Century. Today Mass Gathering Medicine focuses on the public health challenges to hosting events attended by a large enough number of people, at a specific site, for a defined period of time, likely to strain both the planning and response to the mass gathering of a community, state, or nation. All of us can recall attending a mass gathering, whether it be watching one's favorite rock group in performance or assembling for religious pilgrimage. Certainly, the event itself is transporting and transforming and the unison of behaviors and activities can be enormously enriching, uplifting and overwhelming, just as much as they may be at times dangerous and high risk. This review seeks to draw contrasts and comparisons between sporting gatherings and religious gatherings with a chief focus on Hajj, among the largest of all mass gatherings today. We will find there are some powerful similarities as well as stark differences. Each bequeaths a legacy which can inform the other and, as we make our observations, we join with you and the legions of other investigators who continue to remain fascinated and enthralled by mass gatherings which are among the most beloved and beholden events of modern humanity.
From Hajj services to Mass Gathering Medicine: Saudi Arabia formalizes a novel discipline [Letter]
Early Intervention with Single Session "Mask-Fitting" Improves CPAP Adherence in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome Patients [Meeting Abstract]
Zika in Singapore: implications for Saudi Arabia
Yellow fever from Angola and Congo: a storm gathers
In common with Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue, Yellow Fever (YF) is an arthropod-borne flavivirus. It is transmitted between humans and from monkeys by mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti (its principal vector), haemogogus and albopictus varieties. Three cycles of transmission may occur: urban; sylvatic; and intermediate. Recently, sub-Saharan Africa has seen the resurgence of this neglected disease. The current YF outbreak in Angola began in December 2015 in the capital Luanda and by October 2016 there had beenâ€‰>â€‰4300 suspected cases, with 376 deaths (case fatality rateâ€‰=â€‰8.8%). A total of 884 were laboratory confirmed but it is likely that case numbers may be seriously underestimated. YF has subsequently quickly spread to neighbouring Congo and further afield to Kenya and also China, this being of grave concern as this was a first introduction of YF to Asia. YF has recently hit Brazil, with 555 suspected cases and 107 deaths reported by the end of January 2017. Extremely rapid unplanned urban migration in Africa by non-immune rural populations to already densely populated cities, where high densities of mosquitoes co-exist with city dwellers in makeshift flimsy accommodation, poses a ready recipe for an epidemic of massive proportion. In such conditions, with enormously strained public services existing among the most needy and vulnerable populations, mosquito control programmes are nearly impossible. YF in Congo is a tempest barely restrained. However, it is one that can be controlled by focused and committed international collaboration, by intense and united political will and by the marriage of old and trusted techniques: a vaccine almost a century old and some of the most modern technologies available to man.
The public health planners' perfect storm: Hurricane Matthew and Zika virus
Hurricane Matthew threatened to be one of the most powerful Hurricanes to hit the United States in a century. Fortunately, it avoided making landfall on Florida, the eye of the Hurricane remaining centered 40 miles off the Florida coast. Even so it has resulted in over $7 Billion USD in damage according to initial estimates with much of the damage ongoing in severe flooding. Response to and recovery from Hurricane Matthew challenged Florida's public health services and resources just as emergency Zika-specific congressional funding to combat Zika outbreaks in Florida had become available. Hurricanes can disrupt the urban environment in a way that increases the likelihood of vector-borne illnesses and their aftermath can severely strain the very infectious disease and infection control academe needed to combat vector-borne outbreaks. This commentary attempts to examine the challenges posed by Hurricane Matthew in Florida's efforts to contain Zika.
Hajj 2016: Under the shadow of global Zika spread