Association between Australian Hajj Pilgrims’ awareness of MERS-CoV, and their compliance with preventive measures and exposure to camels

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Abstract

Through a prospective cohort study the relationship between travellers’ awareness of MERS-CoV, and compliance with preventive measures and exposure to camels was evaluated among Australian Hajj pilgrims who attended Hajj in 2015. Only 28% of Australian Hajj pilgrims were aware of MERS-CoV in Saudi Arabia. Those who were aware of MERS-CoV were more likely to receive recommended vaccines [odds ratio (OR) 3.1, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.5–5.9, P < 0.01], but there was no significant difference in avoiding camels or their raw products during Hajj between those who were aware of MERS-CoV and those who were not (OR 1.2, 95% CI: 0.3–5.2, P = 0.7). Hajj pilgrims’ awareness is reflected in some of their practices but not in all.

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