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November 14, 2005

Avian flu and the haj

A thoughtful article from Riyadh, in Saudi Arabia, raises issues about Bird Flu and the Haj.

We in the Kingdom have a real problem because Haj is on our doorstep. From the beginning of November, we will be receiving pilgrims. This Haj season happens to coincide with the season when birds migrate and also with the winter flu season. The usual cases of winter flu could somehow become linked to bird flu and the results could be catastrophic.

Our borders will be open for all pilgrims to enter— many of them from areas where bird flu has appeared. It is also common for pilgrims to bring birds with them to sell when they come to the Kingdom. It is very important to take all necessary precautions. We should set up a higher administration that involves all government bodies that are related to Haj and the environment and the monitoring of bird flu. We need to establish advanced medical centers very quickly in order to monitor bird flu. The next war is going to be against viruses.

Posted by dymaxion at November 14, 2005 01:15 PM

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