Communicable Diseases Pattern in Religious Mass Gatherings: A Systematic Review LE01-LE06
Dr. Zohreh Ghomian,
Assistant Professor of Health Care System Administration, Department of Health in Disasters and Emergencies,
School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Introduction: Religious mass gatherings annually attract many pilgrims from around the world. Communicable diseases are one of the challenges of religious mass gatherings.
Aim: To develop an understanding of the communicable diseases pattern in religious mass gatherings.
Materials and Methods: A general literature search was done according to Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) checklists in the main electronic databases such as PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Cochrane. The focus of the articles found was on topics such as mass gathering, crowding, communicable disease, infectious disease, Hajj, Kumbh Mela, Arbaeen. The initial search was conducted on 8 July 2017 and the most recent search was done on 1 March 2018.
Results: Out of 927 articles, 21 articles were included in the qualitative synthesis of the systematic review. Of 21 articles, 19 articles were about respiratory infection, one article was about gastrointestinal infection, and one article was about meningococcal meningitis. In total, in 10 of these articles vaccination was also studied.
Conclusion: Prevention and control programs along with other preventive measures such as screening vulnerable people, vaccination, personal hygiene, health education, and improving the living conditions of pilgrims may help to reduce transmission and prevent the spread of communicable diseases in pilgrims returning to their country.