By contacting your local MP you will help us provide a stronger voice for people affected by meningitis

1000 cases, write to your MP

Hajj and Umrah pilgrims

During the joyous time of pilgrimage to Hajj or Umrah, millions of people from all over the world come together in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

The crowded conditions at ceremonies, accommodation sites and on public transport put pilgrims at increased risk of contracting infectious diseases, including meningitis.

Meningitis can affect anyone of any age or ethnic background. It is vital to know all the symptoms to look for, and how to get medical help. Carry a meningitis symptoms card or download our phone app.

There are different types of meningitis, but pilgrims going to Hajj or Umrah are most at risk of contracting meningitis caused by meningococcal bacteria. Vaccination is the only way to prevent meningitis. All pilgrims need to be vaccinated against this type of meningitis and have a valid vaccination certificate (quadrivalent ACWY) from a doctor before a visa can be issued from the Saudi embassy.

Adults need to have the vaccine at least three weeks before travelling. Young children may need more than one dose of the vaccine, so more time needs to be allowed for this.

  • Allow plenty of time for vaccination before you travel
  • Always check that your vaccinations are up to date
  • Keep a meningitis symptoms card with you or download the phone app
  • Carry the emergency contact information for your travel company, the Association of British Hujjaj and the British Consulate in Saudi Arabia

Remember that there are not vaccines to prevent all types of meningitis. It is vital to know all the symptoms.

What to do if you suspect meningitis:

  • If you are on Hajj or Umrah, make sure you get immediate medical attention
  • Describe the symptoms carefully and say you think it might be meningitis
  • If you have seen a doctor but are still worried, don’t be afraid to ask for help again
  • If you are in the UK, contact your GP or go to the nearest accident and emergency department


Meningitis symptoms


Meningitis Now is the new name for Meningitis UK and the Meningitis Trust. Our goals remain the same – saving lives and rebuilding futures.

Find out more

Looking for information in other languages?

If you have any questions or concerns and English is not your first language, call our 24-hour nurse-staffed Helpline. Calls can be translated into over 170 languages.

Meningitis publications

Meningitis leaflets, posters and downloads:

All publications


Teachers & pupils


Health Professionals

The Information Standard