An Israeli flight attendant has reportedly been in a coma for 10 days after contracting measles

  • A flight attendant for the Israeli airline El Al has been in a coma for 10 days after contracting measles, CNN reported, citing Israel’s Ministry of Health.
  • The flight attendant went to the hospital on March 31 with a fever and is now in the intensive care unit of a hospital near Tel Aviv, according to the CNN report. She is reportedly using a respirator to breathe.
  • As of April 4, at least 465 people in the United States have contracted measles, according to the CDC, more than in any full year since 2014, when there were 667 reported cases.
  • The rise in measles cases has followed lower rates of vaccination.
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A flight attendant for the Israeli airline El Al has been in a coma for 10 days after contracting measles, CNN reported, citing Israel’s Ministry of Health.

The woman, who is 43-years-old, was reportedly healthy before catching the virus, but has now developed a brain inflammation known as encephalitis. According to the Mayo Clinic, encephalitis most often results in mild symptoms, if any, like fevers or headaches, but in rare cases can be fatal.

One or two in 1,000 children who contract measles will die from the virus, while one in 1,000 will develop encephalitis, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.


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The flight attendant went to the hospital on March 31 with a fever and is now in the intensive care unit of a hospital near Tel Aviv, according to the CNN report. She is reportedly using a respirator to breathe.

Israeli health authorities do not yet know where the flight attendant contracted measles, but told CNN it could have happened in Israel, New York, or during a flight between them.

“El Al operates in accordance with the directives of the Ministry of Health,” an El Al representative told Business Insider.

The flight attendant reportedly received the measles vaccine as a child, but was given just one dose. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a single dose of measles vaccine is 93% effective, while two doses are 97% effective.

As of April 4, at least 465 people in the United States have contracted measles, according to the CDC, more than in any full year since 2014, when there were 667 reported cases. The rise in measles cases has followed lower rates of vaccination. Anti-vaccination groups and rhetoric have spurred controversy and frustrated the health community.

“We are starting to see a resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases we thought we got rid of in the US. I am concerned when the proportion of individuals exempting is growing and becomes large enough that it puts the public at risk,” Nathaniel Smith, president-elect of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, told Insider, Business Insider’s sister publication.

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