Measles complication sends Israeli flight attendant into a coma

Israeli Health Ministry reported there was a passenger with measles on a March 26 flight from New York to Israel.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Ben Kesslen

An Israeli flight attendant is in a coma after contracting measles, Israeli officials say.

The 43-year-old woman, who works as a flight attendant for El Al, Israel’s national airline, was hospitalized in Tel Aviv at the end of March.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

The Israeli Health Ministry reported there was a passenger with measles on a March 26 flight from New York to Israel, and told passengers and crew to be vigilant for symptoms of the disease that can spread easily.

“There is a misconception out there that measles is a trivial and inconsequential disease,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.

“Some of those complication can be very serious,” he explained, “like we are seeing with this flight attendant.”

While the flight attendant is fighting for her life, Israeli health officials reportedly do not think she spread the disease to any passengers.

The U.S. has seen a surge in measles in 2019, with 555 individual cases of the disease confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 20 different states.

“Vaccines are safe and they are critical, not just for public health but for the health of the people they love most,” Robert Gordon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, told NBC News.