Saudi halts Guinea, Liberia pilgrim visas over Ebola

April 1, 2014

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced the suspension of visas for Muslim pilgrims from Guinea and Liberia, two African countries hit by an outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic.

The "preventive" measure came at the request of the Saudi health ministry "due to the danger of the disease and its highly contagious" nature, state news agency SPA reported.

The World Health Organisation has said it is not recommending travel or trade restrictions to Guinea, Liberia, or to Sierra Leone, which has reported suspected cases of Ebola, based on information currently available.

Once a year Muslims perform the hajj pilgrimage to the Saudi city of Mecca, home to Islam's holiest sites, but they can make the minor umrah pilgrimage to the kingdom all year round.

Medical aid organisation Doctors Without Borders said Monday that the Ebola outbreak suspected of killing at least 78 people in Guinea since January was an "unprecedented epidemic" that had spread across the west African nation.

Guinean health authorities have recorded 122 suspected cases and 78 deaths.

The tropical virus leads to haemorrhagic fever, causing muscle pain, weakness, vomiting, diarrhoea and, in severe cases, organ failure and unstoppable bleeding.

Explore further: Morocco steps up guard after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

Related Stories

Morocco steps up guard after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

April 1, 2014
Morocco announced extra health screening measures Tuesday at entry points to the country, in particular at Casablanca airport, after the outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic in Guinea.

Liberia confirms first Ebola cases

March 31, 2014
Liberia has confirmed two cases of the deadly Ebola virus that is suspected to have killed at least 78 people in neighbouring Guinea, according to the World Health Organization.

Ebola outbreak in Guinea an 'unprecedented epidemic', MSF says (Update)

March 31, 2014
Aid organisation Doctors Without Borders said Monday an Ebola outbreak suspected of killing at least 78 people in Guinea was an "unprecedented epidemic" that had spread across the west African nation.

Liberia confirms spread of 'unprecedented' Ebola epidemic

March 31, 2014
Aid organisation Doctors Without Borders said Monday an Ebola outbreak suspected of killing dozens in Guinea was an "unprecedented epidemic" as Liberia confirmed its first cases of the deadly contagion.

Guinea battles to contain Ebola as Senegal closes its border (Update)

March 29, 2014
Guinea raced Saturday to contain a deadly Ebola epidemic spreading from its southern forests to the capital Conakry, as neighbouring Senegal closed its border.

Fears Guinea Ebola outbreak has spread to Sierra Leone

March 25, 2014
West Africa was on high alert Tuesday after Sierra Leone warned an Ebola outbreak ravaging Guinea may have crossed its borders and five deaths in Liberia were being tested for the killer virus.

Recommended for you

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Flu may be spread just by breathing, new study shows; coughing and sneezing not required

January 18, 2018
It is easier to spread the influenza virus (flu) than previously thought, according to a new University of Maryland-led study released today. People commonly believe that they can catch the flu by exposure to droplets from ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

Fresh approach to tuberculosis vaccine offers better protection

January 17, 2018
A unique platform that resulted in a promising HIV vaccine has also led to a new, highly effective vaccine against tuberculosis that is moving toward testing in humans.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.