General Travel News

Thousands Of Egyptians Cancel Pilgrimage Over Swine Flu Fears

Thousands of Egyptians cancelled plans to travel to Saudi Arabia for their small pilgrimage following an announcement by the Egyptian Minister of Health, who said he was considering a three week due to the H1/N1 swine flu outbreak.  Vice President for the Chamber of Commerce Nasser Turki said bookings have fallen 60% for the Umrah to Makkah pilgrimage.

The World Health Organization has warned there could be more outbreaks if the H1/N1 virus enters Africa, which has fewer resources.  So far there have been only seven reported outbreaks of the virus in the Middle East.  The H1/N1 virus was contracted by Israelis who had just returned from Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak.  Mass pilgrimage to Makkah has previously resulted in deaths from infectious disease.

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