Condition of El Al flight attendant with measles worsens

43-year-old otherwise healthy woman in a coma with encephalitis, a swelling of the brain, as a result of measles

Sara Rubenstein,

Hospital care (illustrative)
Hospital care (illustrative)
Flash 90

An Israeli El Al flight attendant remains in a coma as a result of a neurological complication subsequent to catching measles, health officials said, according to a CNN report. Her condition is worsening and she may already have suffered brain damage.

The flight attendant, a 43-year-old otherwise healthy woman had developed encephalitis, swelling of the brain, which is a severe complication that sometimes develops as a result of measles. She has been hospitalized since a March 26 flight from New York to Tel Aviv.

Dr. Itamar Grotto, the associate director general of the Israeli Ministry of Health said that the flight attendant could have caught measles in New York, Israel or on a flight between the two destinations. "She's been in a deep coma for 10 days, and we're now just hoping for the best," Grotto said, according to CNN.

The woman is unable to breathe on her own and has been hooked up to a respirator in the ICU at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba for two weeks.

The flight attendant was vaccinated against measles as a child but received only one dose like everyone who was vaccinated before 1989. Later, it became apparent that one dose is only 93% effective and beginning in 1989, children began receiving two doses of the vaccine, which is 97% effective.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children younger than five and adults older than 20 are more likely to develop complications from measles. One child out of 1,000 with measles will develop encephalitis which can cause convulsions and ultimately lead to deafness or brain damage.




top