Mecca, MERS and World War Z.

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In case you didn’t know.

The Islamic religion’s holiest city of Mecca (also known as Mekka or Makkah) is located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Its importance as a holy city for Muslims harks back to it being the birthplace of the founder of Islam, Mohammed

One of the five “pillars of faith,” the Hajj is a duty upon every Muslim adult who is financially and physically able to make the journey. Every Muslim, male or female, strives to make the trip at least once in a lifetime.

During the days of the Hajj, millions of pilgrims will gather in Makkah, Saudi Arabia to pray together, eat together, remember historical events, and celebrate the glory of Allah.

This years Hajj is expected to fall between October 13-18, 2013.

There is a very great concern about this year’s Hajj due to the presence of the corona virus that’s killed 60% of the patients who become infected with the virus. Of the 55 people worldwide who’ve become infected with the virus, it’s killed 31 of them. Forty of those cases occurred in Saudi Arabia,

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GENEVA(Reuters) – The World Health Organization on Monday urged health workers around the world to be on the alert for symptoms of the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS), which has the potential to circle the globe and cause a pandemic.

The United Nations agency, which issued new, long-awaited guidance to countries on influenza pandemics, said the world was also in the same “alert phase” for two human strains of bird flu – H5N1, which emerged a decade ago, and H7N9, first detected in China in March.

“We are trying to find out as much as we can and we are concerned about these (three) viruses,” Andrew Harper, WHO special adviser for health security and environment, told a news briefing on its new scale for pandemic risk.

The interim guidance, to be finalized later this year, incorporates lessons from the 2009/2010 pandemic of H1N1 swine flu, which caused an estimated 200,000 deaths, roughly in line with annual seasonal flu.

Having been adjusted to include the notion of severity when assessing risk, the new scale has just four phases against six previously and is intended to give countries more flexibility in judging local risks.

“International concern about these infections is high, because it is possible for this virus to move around the world. There have been now several examples where the virus has moved from one country to another through travelers,” the WHO said of MERS, which causes coughing, fever and pneumonia.

Travelers have carried the virus to Britain, France, Germany and Italy. Infected people have also been found in Jordan, Qatar, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

“Consequently, all countries in the world need to ensure that their healthcare workers are aware of the virus and the disease it can cause and that, when unexplained cases of pneumonia are identified, MERS-CoV should be considered.”

MERS-coronavirus, a distant relative of SARS that emerged in Saudi Arabia last year, has been confirmed in 55 people worldwide, killing 31 of them. Forty cases occurred in Saudi Arabia, many in a hospital in the eastern province of al-Ahsa.

“The overall number of cases is limited but the virus causes death in about 60 percent of patients,” the WHO said, reporting on a week-long mission of international experts to Saudi Arabia that ended on Sunday.

“So far, about 75 percent of the cases in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been in men and most have occurred in people with one or more major chronic conditions.”

But the source of the MERS virus remained unknown, it said.

Clusters of cases have occurred in families and health facilities, indicating a limited capacity to spread among people in close contact with an infected person, it said.

All countries in the Middle East should urgently intensify disease surveillance to detect any MERS infections, it said.

The WHO has not yet drawn up advice for Travelers ahead of the annual haj pilgrimage in October, which draws millions of Muslims to Saudi Arabia.

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA | Mon Jun 10, 2013 3:05pm EDT

Here’s the link to this article.

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/sounds-alarm-middle-eastern-virus-article-1.1356950

The Zombie pandemic movie “World War Z” based on the apocalyptic horror novel by Matt Brooks comes out in theaters on June 21st.  I’m curious to see if the movie runs true to the novel.

WWZProjections

Brooks conducted copious research on technology, politics, economics, culture, and military tactics while writing World War Z to make the novel as realistic as possible.  “Everything in World War Z on how the world would react to a pandemic is based in reality.

WWZ Pop Loss

I put a pandemic (not  zombie) to be very high on my SHTF list.

WWZ Plane

I will close this post with a classic quote from Lawrence Of Arabia.

“Big things have small beginnings

Get ahead of the herd!  Find out how the bad guys are going to operate when the grid goes down and the lights go out.

Click the image below and buy the book “The S.H.T.F. Art of War” on Amazon for only $3.99.

Art of War Covera 1a1

4 thoughts on “Mecca, MERS and World War Z.

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