The 2013 Kumbh Mela in India was attended by over 100 million visitors over a 55 day period. A team of public health researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, in collaboration with local governmental and educational institutions, successfully piloted a real-time disease surveillance system tracking over 50,000 patient visits in a period of 3 weeks. This session will discuss the public health threats at the Mela and the context-specific, indigenous measures adopted by the government to combat disease outbreak, promote water safety and sanitation, and mitigate the risk of stampedes.
Balsari, S. (2014). Public health implications at the world’s largest mass gathering: The 2013 Kumbh Mela. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 21, 77. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2014.03.586