Objective: This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of nasal rinsing during ablution in reducing acute respiratory tract infection among male Hajj pilgrims.
Methods: A quasi-experimental trial study was conducted to compare the effectiveness of nasal rinsing between two groups. The intervention group was instructed to perform nasal rinsing during ablution, while the control group was not asked to do nasal rinsing. Both groups were provided progress diaries to record the symptoms of respiratory tract infection, including cough, rhinorrhoea, nasal blockage, fever, and sore throat, as well as thick phlegm, shortness of breath, epistaxis, and changes in sense of smell. The groups were also instructed to record any visits to clinics for their symptoms throughout their stay in Makkah for the Hajj ritual.
Results: The study showed that nasal rinsing significantly reduced the symptoms of cough, rhinorrhoea, and nasal blockage. The intervention group had an increased number of visits to healthcare facilities for treatment, when compared to those of the control group. There were no significant differences in the groups regarding the symptoms of fever and sore throat.
Conclusion: Nasal rinsing can be included as part of intervention methods that include vaccination and the use of a face mask. Nasal rinsing can be easily practiced by the pilgrims, since it is a Sunnah act in ablution, which is an integral element of Muslims' daily life.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.