Saudi official: 5 dead from swine flu at Haj | world | Hindustan Times
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Saudi official: 5 dead from swine flu at Haj

The Saudi health minister has said that five people have died from the H1N1 flu virus during the annual haj. Abdullah al-Rabeeah said on Sunday authorities recorded 73 cases of H1N1, commonly known as swine flu, during the pilgrimage.

world Updated: Nov 29, 2009 20:21 IST

The Saudi health minister has said that five people have died from the H1N1 flu virus during the annual haj.

Abdullah al-Rabeeah said on Sunday authorities recorded 73 cases of H1N1, commonly known as swine flu, during the pilgrimage. He said only 10 per cent of the some 3 million pilgrims were vaccinated against the virus.

Saudi officials and international health experts have worked to limit any outbreak during the Haj. They offered free vaccines and placed hand sanitiser dispensers at strategic sites.

The annual Islamic pilgrimage draws 3 million visitors each year, making it the largest yearly gathering of people in the world and an ideal incubator for the H1N1 flu virus.