Israeli Flight Attendant Dies of Measles

By | August 14, 2019

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14, 2019 — An Israeli flight attendant and mother of three who contracted measles earlier this year died on Tuesday.

Rotem Amitai, 43, worked for El Al and had traveled from New York to Tel Aviv a few days before developing a fever on March 31, but it’s not known if she was infected with measles on a flight, in New York or in Israel, Israel’s Ministry of Health said, CNN reported.

About a week after she developed a fever, Amitai fell into a coma. She was diagnosed with encephalitis (swelling of the brain), a complication of measles.

Like many people her age worldwide, Amitai was vaccinated against measles as a child but received only one dose of the vaccine, CNN reported.

As of Aug. 7, more than 360,000 people worldwide had contracted measles so far this year, according to the World Health Organization. In 2017, there were 110,000 measles deaths worldwide, mostly children under the age of 5, according to WHO.

Ongoing measles outbreaks in the United States and other countries are due to people who refuse to get vaccinated, according to the health experts, CNN reported.

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