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The World Health Organization plans to convene an emergency meeting today to discuss the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus in light of the upcoming Islamic hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Concerns are being raised in particular that the pilgrimage this October will raise the likelihood of a pandemic outbreak (the first case of MERS occurred in Saudi Arabia, which remains the worst affected country).
The virus is still relatively contained, though the total number of infections rose precipitously in recent months to 79. WHO health officials made clear that the emergency meeting is preemptive and there is no "acute" threat.
Considering the risk MERS poses and the decision by the WHO to activate the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee, should Muslims avoid Mecca this year?