The pilgrims also bring with them various health issues. Such a large gathering of people always carries its own risks as well. The government of Saudi Arabia requires all pilgrims to obtain certain vaccinations prior to arrival, to help prevent the spread of diseases such as meningitis, yellow fever, tuberculosis, and influenza.
Once the pilgrims arrive, they are tended to through 25 area "primary" hospitals, 140 seasonal field hospitals, 200 ambulances, and several helicopters. The Saudi Ministry of Health deploys a total of 20,000 employees to support pilgrims during the Hajj, including several hundred paramedics.
High temperatures are common in Saudi Arabia, and most of the pilgrimage rites are conducted outdoors. To prevent heat-stroke, the government provides chilled water along the pilgrimage route, and has built thousands of fine-mist sprinklers to keep pilgrims cool.
One would think that a spiritual experience as the Hajj would be crime-free. Unfortunately that is not the case, and theft is commonplace. To help ensure order and public safety, fifty-thousand additional police officers and soldiers are assigned to the holy city during the pilgrimage days. Over 3,000 CCTV cameras feed to the public safety control centers. Local telecommunication companies have recently begun giving out free SIM cards to pilgrims upon arrival, to help facilitate communication among traveling groups.