Generally, people do not keep up with the latest infectious diseases that could come their way. We all know about the Asian flu because it has been around for a while. However, there is little fear involved because many believe that they will not catch it.
Last year a new disease appeared called Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). It killed more than half of the 79 people infected. In the serious 1957-1958 Asian Flu outbreak the death rate was 0.13 per cent.
While MERS is still present, the number of new cases has held steady. There is a worry that the disease could suddenly become highly contagious. It is not yet known whether the virus is spread by human contact or it has an animal source. The number of cases did rise during the Muslim hajj to Mecca.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is in an emergency sitting at present considering whether to declare the coronavirus a public health emergency. An emergency would allow travel restrictions to be put in place. Pilgrims may deem to ignore this and travel anyway, putting their faith in God. The Saudi government is not keen to stop Muslims attending the hajj. Countries cannot be forced to implement restrictions.