Background: Hajj is the largest annual gatherings in the Islamic world. Hajj pilgrims encounter a great deal of heavy physical and mental stress. Chest infection, especially pneumonia is a potentially life-threatening illness which poses global health problems, particularly among elderly performing hajj. The objective of this study was to identify the sociodemographic, clinical and laboratory characteristics of patients clinically suspected of having pneumonia during Hajj season. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on Malaysian hajj pilgrims who were admitted to Tabung Haji (medical center) in Makkah with clinical diagnosis of pneumonia. The relevant patient’s data were recorded from the hospital information system. Results: A total number of 157 Hajj pilgrims clinically diagnosed as pneumonia were recruited during the 2012/2013 Hajj season. Pneumonia affected male more than females (55.4% and 44.6%), with a mean age of 69.4(10.0) years. Coughing (96.2%) was recorded as the commonest symptoms followed by fever (84.7%) and breathlessness (47.1%). Most of the pilgrims were noted to have hypertension (60.5%) while 28.0% of them had diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (25.5%) and asthma (12.7%). The laboratory finding showed mean white blood cell count was 16.9 (13.0) x109L, and the neutrophils differential count was 81.1% (15.5). The most frequently prescribed antibiotic is levofloxacin (54.8%), followed by azithromycin (39.2%) and cefuroxime (23.6%). The mean length of hospital stay was 4.17(± 3.13) days, and most of the patients (97.5%) were discharged after getting treatment. Conclusion: The current study found that elderly males were the main sufferers of bronchopneumonia after Wuquf with an average length of stay 4.17 ± 3.13. Moreover, levofloxacin was found to be most effective antibiotic.
Key words: Hajj, Pneumonia, Pilgrims, Clinical manifestation, Laboratory findings.