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Assessment of Awareness Towards Respiratory Infections Among Qatif District Pilgrims During Hajj 1438 (2017)


Hajj is one of the largest human mass gatherings. Due to crowding, the potential for respiratory infections to spread among attendees is high. Health education and vaccination for respiratory infections are the main preventive measures taken for Saudi Arabian pilgrims prior to hajj. The main objectives were to assess health knowledge towards respiratory infections among pilgrims of Qatif district in Saudi Arabia's eastern province. This information can be used to direct the health educational programs for Saudi pilgrims.


We randomly sampled pilgrims from 39 troops distributed across Qatif district. Questionnaires assessed pilgrim's awareness towards respiratory infections during hajj and to identify the factors influencing pilgrim's awareness about MERS-CoV in Saudi Arabia.


400 pilgrims from five different troops were surveyed. Most were females (55%). Most (94%) were Saudi. for vaccinations, (75%) of pilgrims were vaccinated against influenza, (87%) for meningococcal. Half (50%) of pilgrims correctly identified drug effectiveness against respiratory infections. For knowledge, (85%) of pilgrims identified sneezes and cough as a cause of infections. most pilgrims considered cough (65%), dyspnea (58%), as common symptoms. For preventive measures, (91%) of pilgrims identified face masks as effective. MERS-CoV was identified a serious disease by (76%), and (30%) said MERS-CoV was treatable.


Pilgrim knowledge about causes, symptoms and preventive measures for respiratory infections were acceptable. But knowledge towards respiratory illness treatment and MERS-CoV were less acceptable. national health education programs target these areas in the future are recommended.