A Flight Attendant Is Reportedly In a 'Deep Coma' After Contracting Measles

A Flight Attendant Is Reportedly In a 'Deep Coma' After Contracting MeaslesA Flight Attendant Is Reportedly In a 'Deep Coma' After Contracting Measles
She has inflammation of the brain

A flight attendant has reportedly fallen into a “deep coma” after contracting measles, according to health authorities.

The 43-year-old female El Al Airlines flight attendant was admitted to a hospital after coming down with a fever on March 31, CBS News reports. Her condition has worsened since then, and she now has encephalitis, or brain inflammation, and is breathing with the assistance of a respirator at Israel’s Meir Medical Center, according to CNN.

Israeli health officials said the woman may have been infected with measles in New York, Israel or a flight between the two locations, both of which are experiencing active measles outbreaks. No other passengers appear to have contracted measles, CNN reports.

“She’s been in a deep coma for 10 days, and we’re now just hoping for the best,” said Dr. Itamar Grotto, associate director general of Israel’s Ministry of Health, according to CNN.

TIME could not immediately reach El Air Airlines or Israel’s Ministry of Health for further comment.

The woman was vaccinated against measles as a child but only received one dose, CBS reports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that all children get two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine since 1989, since doing so provides 97% effective protection against the measles virus. One dose of the MMR vaccine is 93% effective against measles, according to the CDC.

The woman’s case illustrates the possible severity of the measles virus. Although it typically results in relatively minor symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose and rash, the contagious virus can lead to life-threatening complications such as encephalitis. In 2017 alone, 110,000 people died from measles, the World Health Organization estimates. More than 112,000 measles cases across 170 countries have been reported by the WHO this year.

No one in the U.S. has died from measles since 2015, but outbreaks across the country have raised alarm among health officials. With 555 cases of measles confirmed so far this year, the U.S. is on pace for its highest number of diagnoses since the disease was declared domestically eliminated in 2000.

A worsening outbreak in New York City, where 329 people have been infected since October, led city officials to require all residents of certain Brooklyn zip codes to get vaccinated, or face a fine of up to $1,000. And in nearby Rockland County, where 193 people have gotten sick, officials have banned people with measles from visiting public places, following an earlier order — which was eventually halted by a judge — that banned unvaccinated children from public places.

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