No MERS-CoV but positive influenza viruses in returning Hajj pilgrims, China, 2013–2015
There is global health concern that the mass movement of pilgrims to and from Mecca annually could contribute to the international spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). In China, about 11,000 Muslim pilgrims participate in the Hajj gathering in Mecca annually. This is the first report of MERS-CoV and respiratory virus molecular screening of returning pilgrims at points of entry in China from 2013 to 2015.
Methods and results
A total of 847 returning Hajj pilgrims participated in this study. The test results indicated that of the travelers, 34 tested positive for influenza A virus, 14 for influenza B virus, 4 for metapneumo virus, 2 for respiratory syncytial virus, and 3 for human coronavirus. There was a significant difference in the rates of positive and negative influenza virus tests between Hajj pilgrims with symptoms and those without. The detection rates of influenza virus were not significantly different among the three years studied, at 5.3, 6.0 and 6.3% for 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Discussion and conclusion
The MERS-CoV and respiratory viruses detection results at points of entry in China from 2013 to 2015 indicated that there were no MERS-CoV infection but a 5.7% positive influenza viruses in returning Chinese pilgrims.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12879-017-2791-0
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