Mohamad Asyraf Azman, Shahrul Anuwar Mohamed Yusof, Imran Abdullah, Irfan Mohamad, Javeed Shaikh Mohammed


Hajj is the largest annual gathering of Muslims during which time over two million people from different parts of the world are gathered within a small area, leading to very high risks of acute respiratory infections (ARI) for the pilgrims. Therefore, preventive measures and controls should be implemented, including the implementation of non-pharmaceutical prevention methods such as the use of appropriate face masks, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, social distancing, and quarantine. A pilot study was conducted in 2013 to identify the types of face masks used by Malaysian Umrah pilgrims as well as to identify the problems pertaining to the face masks being used and to understand the factors influencing the selection of face masks by Malaysian pilgrims. Observations and survey methods were used in the pilot study. Data was collected from thirty respondents through a survey. This paper presents the results of the pilot study. Based on the knowledge of factors influencing face mask usage and selection from the pilot study, new face mask design(s) will be proposed for the Malaysian pilgrims. It is anticipated that the use of new face mask design(s) can reduce the risk of acute respiratory infections in Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.  


Hajj, acute respiratory infections, face mask selection factors, design, face mask

Full Text:



Rashid, H., S. Shafi, R. Booy, H. El Bashir, K. Ali, M. Zambon, Z. Memish, J. Ellis, P. Coen, and E. Haworth. 2008. Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections in British Hajj Pilgrims. Emerg Health Threats J. 1: e2.

Ibrahim, Nahla K. R. 2008. Epidemiological Pattern of Diseases and Risk Behaviors of Pilgrims Attending Mina Hospitals, Hajj 1427 h (2007 g). The Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association. 83: 15-33.

Balkhy, Hanan H., Ziad A. Memish, Saleh Bafaqeer, and Maha A. Almuneef. 2004. Influenza A Common Viral Infection Among Hajj Pilgrims: Time for Routine Surveillance And Vaccination. Journal of Travel Medicine. The Oxford University Press. 11: 82-86.

Information about Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). 2015. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Deris, Zakuan Zainy, Habsah Hasan, Mohd Suhaimi Ab Wahab, Siti Amrah Sulaiman, Nyi Nyi Naing, and Nor Hayati Othman. 2010. The Association between Pre-Morbid Conditions And Respiratory Tract Manifestations Amongst Malaysian Hajj Pilgrims. Tropical Biomedicine. 27: 294-300.

Hashim, Suhana, Zeti N Ayub, Zeehaida Mohamed, Habsah Hasan, Azian Harun, Nabilah Ismail, Zaidah A Rahman, Siti Suraiya, Nyi Nyi Naing, and Aniza A Aziz. 2016. The Prevalence and Preventive Measures of the Respiratory Illness Among Malaysian Pilgrims in 2013 Hajj Season. Journal of Travel Medicine. The Oxford University Press. 23: tav019.

Lee, Seungsin, and S Kay Obendorf. 2007. Transport Properties of Layered Fabric Systems Based on Electrospun Nanofibers. Fibers and Polymers. Springer. 8: 501-506.

Baig, Aliya S., Caprice Knapp, Aaron E. Eagan, and Lewis J. Radonovich. 2010. Health Care Workers’ Views About Respirator Use and Features That Should Be Included in the Next Generation of Respirators. American Journal of Infection Control. Elsevier: 38: 18-25. doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2009.09.005.

Haworth, Elizabeth, Osamah Barasheed, Ziad A. Memish, Harunor Rashid, and Robert Booy. 2013. Prevention of Influenza at Hajj: Applications for Mass Gatherings. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. SAGE Publications: 106: 215-223.

Health Regulations for Travellers to KSA for Hajj. 2013. Health Regulations for Travellers to KSA for Hajj - Health Regulations for Travellers to Saudi Arabia for Umrah & Pilgrimage (Hajj)-1434 H. (2013). July 15.

CDC Health Information For International Travel 2012. 2012. New York: Oxford University Press.

Health Conditions for Travellers to Saudi Arabia Pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). 2005. Relevé épidémiologique hebdomadaire/Section d’hygiène du Secrétariat de la Société des Nations= Weekly epidemiological record/Health Section of the Secretariat of the League of Nations. 80: 431.

El Sheikh, Soliman M., Sufian M. El Assouli, Khalid A. Mohammed, and Mohammed Albar. 1998. Bacteria and Viruses that Cause Respiratory Tract Infections During the Pilgrimage (Haj) Season in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Tropical Medicine & International Health. 3: 205-209.

Understanding Respiratory Protection against SARS. 2012. CDC - NIOSH - Respirator Fact Sheet - Understanding Respiratory Protection against SARS. January 20.

Al-Asmary, Saeed, Abdul-Salam Al-Shehri, Alaa Abou-Zeid, Moataz Abdel-Fattah, Tamer Hifnawy, and Tarek El-Said. 2007. Acute Respiratory Tract Infections among Hajj Medical Mission Personnel, Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. Elsevier. 11: 268-272.

Shakya, Kabindra M., Alyssa Noyes, Randa Kallin, and Richard E. Peltier. 2016. Evaluating the Efficacy of Cloth Facemasks in Reducing Particulate Matter Exposure. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. Nature Publishing Group. doi:10.1038/jes.2016.42.

Radonovich, Lewis J., Jing Cheng, Brian V. Shenal, Michael Hodgson, and Bradley S. Bender. 2009. Respirator Tolerance in Health Care Workers. JAMA. 301: 36-38. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.894.

Jones, Jeffrey G. 1991. The Physiological Cost of Wearing a Disposable Respirator. The American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. Taylor & Francis. 52: 219-225. doi:10.1080/15298669191364631.

James, R., F. Dukes-Dobos, and R. Smith. 1984. Effects of Respirators Under Heat/Work Conditions. The American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. Taylor & Francis: 45: 399-404. doi:10.1080/15298668491400016.

Skretvedt, O. T., and J. G. Loschiavo. 1984. Effect of Facial Hair on the Face Seal of Negative-Pressure Respirators. The American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal. 45: 63-66.

Balaban, Victor, William M. Stauffer, Adnan Hammad, Mohamud Afgarshe, Mohamed Abd‐Alla, Qanta Ahmed, Ziad A. Memish, Janan Saba, Elizabeth Harton, and Gabriel Palumbo. 2012. Protective Practices and Respiratory Illness Among US Travelers To The 2009 Hajj. Journal of Travel Medicine. Wiley Online Library. 19: 163-168.

Arain, Mubashir, Michael J. Campbell, Cindy L. Cooper, and Gillian A. Lancaster. 2010. What is a Pilot ir Feasibility Study? A Review of Current Practice and Editorial Policy. BMC Medical Research Methodology. 10: 67. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-10-67.

Talib, Othman. 2013. Asas Penulisan Tesis Penyelidikan Dan Statistik. Selangor: Penerbit Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Roberge, Raymond J., Jung Hyun Kim, and Aitor Coca. 2011. Protective Facemask Impact on Human Thermoregulation: An Overview. Annals of Occupational Hygiene. 1-11. doi:10.1093/annhyg/mer069.

Ali, Hassan, and Ahmad Rizal Abdul Rahman. 2008. Reka Bentuk Perindustrian: Pengenalan. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11113/jt.v79.9779


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright © 2012 Penerbit UTM Press, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
Disclaimer : This website has been updated to the best of our knowledge to be accurate. However, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused by the usage of any information obtained from this web site.
Best viewed: Mozilla Firefox 4.0 & Google Chrome at 1024 × 768 resolution.