fbpx

In recent years, health experts around the world have been increasingly concerned with the spread of infectious diseases. Outbreaks of swine flu, poultry flu and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) mean that infectious diseases have increased in a global context and are now on the agenda of world politicians and health politicians alike. In developed and developing countries, health officials focus on infectious disease research and connect it to policy-making and infrastructure.

Globalization is increasingly challenging the scope of infectious diseases. Simple and regular air travel allows diseases to spread quickly between communities and countries. The control of infectious diseases is further promoted by the problems of the 21st century, such as global warming, conflict, hunger, overpopulation, deforestation and bio-terrorism.

With the continued media attention, most of us are aware of the dangers associated with swine flu and avian flu, and from 2003-2004 the whole world held our breath when 8098 people contracted SARS before the global outbreak was contained .[1] These three diseases have sparked renewed public interest in infectious diseases; however, Gideon Informatics [2], the leading infectious disease database in the world, has tracked and documented more than 20 major infectious diseases since 1972.

Some basic measures are appropriate when trying to control the spread of some or all of the infectious diseases. These include meticulous hand washing, covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing, proper handkerchief disposal, staying at home and away from public places, and quarantine in extreme cases such as SARS. In the series of articles entitled Health in Islam, we explained some details that Islam is a religion that strives to build a community of healthy believers.

Islam is a holistic belief system that takes into account the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of individuals and society. While caring for individuals is important, securing communities, including their weakest members, is paramount. Over 1,400 years ago, the Prophet Muhammad taught God’s blessings and peace on him to teach his followers hygiene practices that still apply in the 21st century.

In the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad we find evidence that clearly defines the position of Islam in relation to open coughing and sneezing. The Prophet Muhammad instructed the faithful to cover their faces when they sneezed. [3] The most obvious consequence of sneezing and coughing without covering your mouth is the spread of airborne bacteria and viruses, and droplets invisible to the naked eye can get on surfaces or other people.

According to the Center for Disease Control in the United States, the fastest way to transmit the virus that causes SARS is by inhaling the droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. What is known as droplet infection can happen when droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze are thrown through the air at a short distance (up to 3 feet) and get on the mucous membranes of people’s mouth, nose, or eyes nearby. The virus can also spread if someone touches a surface or object contaminated with infectious droplets and then touches his or her mouth, nose or eye. The SARS virus can spread much wider through the air (aerogenic).

Islam is the religion of cleanliness. „Verily, God loves those who turn to Him and who purify themselves.“ (Quran 2: 222) The Prophet Muhammad’s narrative mentions that cleanliness is half the belief, so it is important to keep the body fresh and clean, and Islam insists on certain actions to facilitate this. The gender is washed after every toilet and Muslims take great care to be clean before praying. They wash their hands, faces, (including mouth and nose rinsing), arms and feet at least five times a day. The Prophet Muhammad insisted that the believers wash their hands before praying, before and after eating, [4] and when getting up in the morning. [5]

If you want to try to stop the spread of all types of influenza, including swine flu and poultry flu, the first safeguard is to wash your hands regularly. Both the World Health Organization and the CDC have recommended the following precautions. Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth if you cough or sneeze and then throw the cloth in the trash. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, because germs spread in this way. Stay home when you get sick. CDC recommends that they stay home from work or school and limit contact with others so as not to infect them.

Infection control in Islam includes isolation and quarantine. The Prophet Muhammad, God’s blessing and peace be upon him, introduced strategies that are still used by public health authorities today. He ordered his followers not to travel to locations affected by the disease and advised those living in such affected areas or communities not to leave them and continue to spread the disease. He said: “If you hear that there is a plague in a country, do not enter it; and when she (the plague) visits a country where you are, don’t leave it. ”[6] He also advised that sick people should not visit healthy people. [7]

In the worldwide outbreak of SARS, health officials provided adequate medical support, which sometimes included medical isolation and restricted travel. The CDC says isolation is not only necessary for patient comfort, but to protect the public. Many levels of government around the world are able to force sick, infectious people to remain in quarantine or isolation to prevent the spread of the disease.

The teachings and principles of Islam serve the benefit of mankind. Rules and recommendations for personal hygiene and cleanliness contribute to the wellbeing of individuals and communities. Infection control is included in Islamic hygiene. Washing hands, covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing, voluntary isolation if you feel uncomfortable and restricted travel are effective and comprehensible public health measures. Measures used in the 21st century to counter the spread of infections and viruses correspond almost exactly to the hygiene and principles of infection control taught by the Prophet Muhammad.

Footnotes:
[1] (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars/basics.htm)
[2] (http://www.gideononline.com/index.htm)
[3] Mustadrak Haakim
[4] Abu Dawud
[5] Sahieh Al-Bukhari
[6] Sahieh Al-Bukhari, Sahieh Muslim
[7] Sahieh Muslim

 


Source: https://www.islamland.com/deu/articles/infektionskontrolle-im-islam