An Israeli flight attendant has died after contracting measles and falling into a coma following a flight to New York City in March.
According to The Washington Post, the 43-year-old El Al flight attendant died Tuesday after battling encephalitis for several months. The woman had flown from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Israel and was later admitted to the hospital.
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In April, Israeli Ministry of Health issued a warning that the March 26 flight had a measles patient on board. While it remains unclear if the attendant contracted the virus while on the plane, reports suggest no one else on the flight contracted measles.
“The company is bowing its head over the death of a member of El Al’s aircrew. The company will continue to act on the matter in accordance with the health ministry’s guidelines,” an El Al spokesperson said in a statement. “Once the case became known, the company acted to vaccinate the company’s aircrews. The company shares the deep grief of the family and will continue to accompany the family.”
The flight attendant was just the third measles fatality in Israel over the last 15 years. Public health officials believe she only received a single dose of the measles vaccine when she was a child, which is not enough by today’s standards.