During Haj pilgrimage cities like Mecca, Medina and Jeddah have been worst hit by deadly diseases like plague, cholera and meningitis through out the history.

The next haj is expected to start in January and around 2.5 million Muslim pilgrims are expected to visit Mecca from over 160 countries from all over the world.
Health experts fear that this year’s haj could represent a place where pandemic strain of bird flu could emerge.

The deadly H5N1 virus that has already killed 67 people cannot pass among people the way ordinary seasonal flu does, but experts fear it easily mutate if anyone with bird flu came to Mecca and mingled with people with seasonal flu in the huge crowds.

Some people feel that if Saudi authorities discover a human-to-human contamination of bird flu they should call off the haj. Saudi health ministry has spent millions of dollars to treat and prevent flu and will see to that only healthy Muslims enter Saudi Arabia for the haj.