Israeli Health Ministry Orders Local Airlines to Vaccinate Staff Against Measles

Order comes after El Al flight attendant contracted the disease during a flight from New York and is currently in a coma with suspected brain damage due to complications of the disease

File Photo: A woman receives a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at the Rockland County Health Department in Pomona, N.Y., March 27, 2019.
Seth Wenig / AP

The Israeli Health Ministry ordered all local airlines to vaccinate their staff, especially those staffers who come into contact with travelers, against measles.

More than 250 El Al airlines crew members have been vaccinated against measles after a flight attendant contracted the disease during a flight from New York.

The flight attendant, 43, was hospitalized earlier this month with measles. On Thursday, Israeli media reported that she was in a coma with suspected brain damage due to complications from the measles virus. She had only received one shot of the measles vaccine, instead of the recommended two, the Times of Israel reported.

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A 10-year-old boy who also contracted the measles virus on a plane ride is hospitalized in central Israel on a respirator with suspected brain damage, according to reports.

El Al set up a special clinic at Ben Gurion International Airport to ensure that all staff get inoculated.

The Health Ministry called on Israelis to get fully vaccinated before flying out of the country. Many Israelis travel overseas during the Passover holiday.

Some 3,600 cases of measles have been confirmed in Israel between March 2018 and February 2019, according to the ministry.