Israeli flight attendant dies from measles caught on flight from New York

JERUSALEM, Aug. 14 (Xinhua/GNA) – A flight
attendant of Israeli flag carrier El Al Israel Airlines has died, about five
months after contracting measles during a flight from the U.S. city of New
York.

The attendant, Rotem Amitai, a 43-year-old
mother of three, was exposed to the virus on a flight from John F. Kennedy
International Airport in New York to Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport in late March.

 After
returning to Israel, she began to show measles symptoms, including high fever
and typical rash.

She was hospitalized in isolation, suffering
from respiratory failure and unconsciousness. Despite the intensive care she
received, her condition worsened and she went into a coma. Amitai was
previously vaccinated in one dose against measles, but according to the Israeli
Ministry of Health, only those who received two doses are considered immune
with 97 percent efficiency.

Measles is a serious infectious disease
manifested by cough, runny nose, high fever, characteristic rash, photophobia,
oral lesions and inflammation of the eye conjunctiva.

From the time of infection, it takes about
eight to 12 days of incubation until the virus spreads in the body. 

 As
there is no antibiotic treatment for the virus, Amitai received treatment that
included fluids, neurological tests and brain scans. 

The scans showed that she suffered from a
widespread brain injury called meningoencephalitis, which is known as one of
the complications of measles. 

According to the Israeli Ministry of Health
data, as of July 11, 2019, there were 4,292 measles patients in the state,
1,444 of whom are in the city of Jerusalem.

El Al said it has vaccinated its flight
crews and would continue to work on the issue in accordance with the ministry’s
instructions.  

GNA

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