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El Al Flight Attendant in Deep Coma After Contracting Measles on NY to TLV Journey

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A 43-year-old El Al Airlines flight attendant was rushed to a hospital with measles, and has reportedly lapsed into a deep coma after coming down with a fever on March 31.

By: Andrew B. Mayfair

The woman is now said to be suffering from encephalitis and breathing with the assistance of a respirator at Israel’s Meir Medical Center, according to CNN.

Israeli health officials said the woman may have been infected with measles in New York, Israel or a flight between the two locations, both of which are experiencing active measles outbreaks. No other passengers appear to have contracted measles, CNN added.

“She’s been in a deep coma for 10 days, and we’re now just hoping for the best,” Dr. Itamar Grotto, associate director general of Israel’s Ministry of Health, told CNN in an interview.

It has been reported by CBS News that the flight attendant had been vaccinated against measles as a child but only received a single dose.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that all children get two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine since 1989.

The New York City Board of Health is issuing civil summonses for three parents who didn’t comply with the mandatory measles vaccination order. They are subject to fines of up to $1,000 apiece.

The continuing order for vaccinations applies to children ages 6 months and older with fines for non-compliance. City officials announced an emergency vaccination order for four ZIP codes in Brooklyn last week to stem the measles outbreak.

“A lawsuit challenging the order mandating measles vaccinations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was dismissed by a state Supreme Court judge on Thursday. The suit was filed by five anonymous parents who claimed the order was unnecessary and infringed on religious rights, also claiming vaccines are dangerous,” reports Fox News.

According to the latest measles statistics coming out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from January 1 to April 11 there were 555 reported measles cases in 20 states. In the past week alone, the CDC has received reports of 90 new cases, mainly in New York state.

“That means there have already been more measles cases in 2019 than any year in the last five years. And given that it’s only April, we’re well on track to set a record for the highest number of cases in the US since the disease was eliminated here two decades ago,” says vox.com.

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