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Les pèlerins de La Mecque, les germes et la communauté internationale

Abstract : With steam navigation, men, but also the seeds of diseases, move faster. In 1865, the pilgrimage to Mecca induced a terrible cholera pandemic. This caused deep trauma in Europe and prompted the international community, recently born, to focus on the pilgrims who were regarded as the main "risk group" in the spread of epidemics. Through a series of international sanitary conferences, European powers, in agreement with the Ottoman Empire, imposed a heavy control over the pilgrims, much harsher than that applied to ordinary commercial navigation exchanges. These decisions led to the establishment of a huge quarantine device in the Red Sea and the Levant, including two lazaretto, one at at the entrance and the other at the exit of the Red Sea, where the pilgrims were trapped and disinfected during their sacred journey. This contrasted with the concommitant disappearance of quarantines everywhere else. The pilgrims did not show hostility towards medical and prophylactic treatments but protested against the dehumanizing conditions of their realization. The combined pressures of nationalism and sovereignty claims from Saudi Arabia ended this system in 1957.
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Contributor : Sylvia Chiffoleau <>
Submitted on : Monday, July 16, 2012 - 12:09:31 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 6:22:19 AM
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Sylvia Chiffoleau. Les pèlerins de La Mecque, les germes et la communauté internationale. médecine/sciences, EDP Sciences, 2011, 27 (12), pp.1121-1125. ⟨halshs-00718129⟩

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