UK: Swine flu affecting religious activities

UK: Swine flu affecting religious activities

Fears about the spread of the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, are curtailing religious activities of both Christians and Muslims as they worship and express their faith, especially in Britain.

Health authorities believe that the H1N1 flu pandemic is having a greater impact on Britain than on other European countries, with at least 31 deaths from the virus, in part because Britain is an international travel hub.


The Muslim Council of Britain released guidelines to Muslims on its website, urging imams and mosque leaders to increase the awareness of the dangers of using communal towels during cleansing rituals before worship.

Murtaza Shibli, a spokesman for the group, told Ecumenical News International that the council "concurs with the advice of Saudi Health Authorities and the World Health Organization that the current pandemic strain of swine flu was more likely to be severe in certain groups of individuals — elderly, pregnant women, people with chronic disease and children."

As a precaution against spreading the H1N1 virus, Arab health ministers in Cairo on Wednesday announced plans to ban children under the age of 12, the elderly, and the chronically ill from attending the annual Hajj pilgrimage.


Source: USA Today (English)

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