Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Mass Gatherings’ Category

Las Vegas: At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 wounded; suspect dead.


Spain: More than 750 people were injured in the crackdown, Catalan officials said.

NY Times

WHO: No disease outbreak or public health event of concern was reported among the nearly 2.4 million pilgrims visiting the holy sites during this year’s hajj, in spite of an increased number of pilgrims performing hajj this year.


“…..In preparation for the hajj, the Ministry of Health, with the support of WHO, intensified readiness, preparedness and response efforts to address any possible health threats that might occur during the hajj. In accordance with the IHR 2005, the Ministry developed a comprehensive plan to implement essential public health mitigation measures, including undertaking detailed preparedness and response efforts to address any potential transmission of cholera, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) or other infectious diseases. In addition, it demonstrated effective capacity in surveillance to ensure early detection and rapid response, infection prevention and control, laboratory, coordination, risk communication and community engagement. The Ministry of Health also deployed 30 000 health care professionals to work in 15 hospitals and 93 health care centres in Makkah, Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat to serve and protect the health of pilgrims.

In light of the current cholera outbreaks taking place in some countries, the Ministry of Health also undertook intensive preparedness and risk mitigation measures to prevent potential transmission of cholera from pilgrims travelling from these countries and no confirmed cholera cases have, so far, been reported among those attending the hajj.

In anticipation of the higher temperatures expected during this year’s hajj, the Ministry of Health developed a comprehensive plan to prevent and respond to any negative health effects experienced by pilgrims as a result of excessive temperatures. Advice was provided on how to prevent sunstroke and concrete measures were put in place to reduce their negative impact on pilgrim’s health. The plan also included measures to ensure the prompt treatment of any pilgrims experiencing heat exhaustion. According to preliminary information, an increased number of pilgrims were reported as suffering from heat exhaustion as a result of the high temperatures but health services were well prepared and provided timely treatment to those in need.

Morbidity and mortality rates from seasonal influenza were also lower this year, as compared to previous years, due to increased uptake of the seasonal influenza vaccine among pilgrims from Saudi Arabia and other countries. This year, the vaccine was a compulsory requirement for all pilgrims from Saudi Arabia. Countries strictly adhered to the recommendations issued by Saudi Arabia to protect people’s health during the hajj, including vaccination against seasonal influenza, meningococcal meningitis, polio, yellow fever and other diseases.

Of all the samples collected and tested by the national public health laboratory in Makkah, none were found to be positive for MERS-CoV, and so the authorities in Saudi Arabia are happy to report no cases of MERS among pilgrims during this year’s hajj…..”


A stampede of religious pilgrims in a pedestrian tunnel in Mecca leaves more than 1,400 people dead: 7/2/1990.

History Channel

British prosecutors charged six people on Wednesday, including four former senior police officials, in the deaths of 96 people crushed and trampled to death at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield in 1989.

NY Times


Several dozen people died in a stampede Sunday morning when a religious celebration in Ethiopia turned into an anti-government protest

Washington Post


Surveillance During EXPO Milan 2015

Event-Based Surveillance During EXPO Milan 2015: Rationale, Tools, Procedures, and Initial Results
Riccardo Flavia, Manso Martina Del, Caporali Maria Grazia, Napoli Christian, Linge Jens P., Mantica Eleonora, Verile Marco, Piatti Alessandra, Pompa Maria Grazia, Vellucci Loredana, Costanzo Virgilio, Bastiampillai Anan Judina, Gabrielli Eugenia, Gramegna Maria, Declich Silvia, and ; and the Regional Focal Points for EBS Surveillance Work Group. Health Security. June 2016, 14(3): 161-172. doi:10.1089/hs.2015.0075.

Published in Health Security; Volume: 14 Issue 3: June 17, 2016

“More than 21 million participants attended EXPO Milan from May to October 2015, making it one of the largest protracted mass gathering events in Europe. Given the expected national and international population movement and health security issues associated with this event, Italy fully implemented, for the first time, an event-based surveillance (EBS) system focusing on naturally occurring infectious diseases and the monitoring of biological agents with potential for intentional release. …..”

Surveillance Strategies for Super Bowl XLIX

Public Health Surveillance Strategies for Mass Gatherings: Super Bowl XLIX and Related Events, Maricopa County, Arizona, 2015
Ayala Aurimar, Berisha Vjollca, Goodin Kate, Pogreba-Brown Kristen, Levy Craig, McKinney Benita, Koski Lia, and Imholte Sara. Health Security. June 2016, 14(3): 173-184. doi:10.1089/hs.2016.0029.

“…..Surveillance strategies implemented from January 22 to February 6, 2015, included enhanced surveillance alerts; animal disease surveillance; review of NFL clinic visits; syndromic surveillance for emergency room visits, urgent care facilities, and hotels; real-time onsite syndromic surveillance; all-hazards mortality surveillance; emergency medical services surveillance, review of poison control center reports; media surveillance; and aberration detection algorithms for notifiable diseases. ……”

The 1989 Hillsborough Disaster: An inquests jury find the 96 soccer fans were unlawfully killed.


:….Jurors found police failures before and during the 1989 FA Cup semi-final led to the fatal crush…..”





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