Flu is the most common vaccine-preventable health risk for business travellers, vacationers and pilgrims16. They can catch the bug while on an airplane or simply by being near infected persons in crowded places. Fortunately, travellers can prevent the flu from spoiling their trips by getting vaccinated at least 2 weeks before taking off (to allow sufficient time for the desired vaccine immunity to develop)17.
Here is a special note for Hajj and Umrah pilgrims. It is very common for them to catch a respiratory tract infection (including the flu) while in the Holy City18. A study has even shown that more than 90% of Malaysians contracted at least 1 respiratory symptom during their pilgrimage19. This does not bode well, especially for the more elderly individuals or the many who also have a chronic disease.
In order to complete their religious obligations with peace of mind, pilgrims are advised to get vaccinated to protect themselves from the flu20.