Saudi Arabia Says Zamzam Water not Source of Meningitis

Published May 17th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

The water of the sacred Zamzam well, drunk by all those performing the Hajj pilgrimage, is pure and is not the source of the meningitis which afflicted a number of pilgrims after their return home earlier this year, said a water expert in Riyadh Tuesday. 

"The water in Zamzam is 100 percent pure and healthy," said Yahya Kushk, who headed a team of experts, which cleaned out and improved the well in 1979. 

"Zamzam's water is analyzed and treated every four hours. If there is any contamination, it comes from the containers which (the pilgrims) keep it in, which are not properly sterilized," the official SPA news agency quoted him as saying. 

The World Health Organization said in April that more than two hundred cases of meningitis had been reported among pilgrims in several countries after the end of the Hajj in March, and several dozen had died -- Riyadh (AFP)  

© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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