Comment on: “Mass Gatherings and Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and Surveillance”


avatar Manoochehr Karami 1 , *

Department of Epidemiology and Social Determinants of Health Research Center, School of Public Health, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, IR Iran

how to cite: Karami M. Comment on: “Mass Gatherings and Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and Surveillance”. Int J Infect. 2015;2(4):e60148.

Dear Editor,

In an interesting study published in your journal, Tabatabaei and his colleague (1) focused on the necessity of implementing an infectious surveillance system and explored general recommendations based on published works (2-4), including mass gathering (MG) planning in the era of the limitation of communicable diseases surveillance and integrated surveillance network and real-time detection of health events among affected countries, i.e. the MG location and the countries from which travelers depart. Finally, the authors concluded that “public health authorities in collaboration with event organizers need to enhance their communicable diseases surveillance systems, according to the nature of the event, to enable early detection of potential public health threats” (1).

I would like to refer both authors of the above-mentioned article and interested readers to a study entitled “Public Health Surveillance and Hajj Pilgrimage as a Mass Gathering” (5), which aimed to highlight the rationale for implementing syndromic surveillance in the era of public health issues of Hajj pilgrimage as an MG.

Briefly, in order to detect related MG outbreaks, a syndromic surveillance system should communicate information for early recognition and reporting by clinicians using prediagnostic data. Communicating such data plays an important role in the home country in the prevention of the spread of infections from travelers to their country. In conclusion, I would recommend that policymakers consider the potentials of the syndromic surveillance system in the timely detection of MG-related health events.


  • 1.

    Tabatabaei SM, Metanat M. Mass Gatherings and Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and Surveillance. Int J of Infection. 2015; 2 (2)

  • 2.

    Ahmed QA, Barbeschi M, Memish ZA. The quest for public health security at Hajj: the WHO guidelines on communicable disease alert and response during mass gatherings. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2009; 7 (4) : 226 -30 [DOI][PubMed]

  • 3.

    McCloskey B, Endericks T, Catchpole M, Zambon M, McLauchlin J, Shetty N, et al. London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: public health surveillance and epidemiology. Lancet. 2014; 383 (9934) : 2083 -9 [DOI][PubMed]

  • 4.

    Khan K, McNabb SJ, Memish ZA, Eckhardt R, Hu W, Kossowsky D, et al. Infectious disease surveillance and modelling across geographic frontiers and scientific specialties. Lancet Infect Dis. 2012; 12 (3) : 222 -30 [DOI][PubMed]

  • 5.

    Karami M. Public health surveillance and hajj pilgrimage as a mass gathering. Iran J Public Health. 2013; 42 (7) : 791 -2 [PubMed]

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