The 2013 Hajj (Muslims’ annual pilgrimage to Mecca) was marked by an outbreak of the middle-east respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in Saudi Arabia. In response to this threat, the Ivoirian health authorities carried out campaigns to inform and sensitize future pilgrims. Before departure to Saudi Arabia, a survey was conducted among the pilgrims to assess their level of knowledge about MERS-CoV as well as their perception concerning the risks of the illness. A cross-sectional study was carried out from September 19 to 29, 2013 at the Riviera Golf Mosque in Abidjan, a large gathering point for Hajj pilgrims. The sample size was estimated using a sampling rate of 10% on an estimated population of 4,500 pilgrim’s. 460 respondents were selected using simple random sampling. A logistic regression analysis was carried out using SPSS software. Overall, 255 (55.4%) people had knowledge about MERS-CoV. Among those aware of MERS-CoV, 63.5% (162) expressed fear of contracting the illness during the Hajj. In a multivariable analysis, factors significantly associated with the fear of contracting MERS-CoV were sex (OR=0.4; CI 95% = 0.225-0.723) and participation in a MERS-CoV sensitization campaign in Saudi Arabia (OR=1.80; CI 95% = 0.980-3, 270). Ivoirian hajj pilgrims expressed great fear about contracting MERS-CoV.
Key words: Knowledge, middle-east corona virus, Hajj.
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