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Coma after measles infection
A flight attendant who was on a scheduled flight from Tel Aviv to New York lost consciousness during the flight. Shortly before, she complained of rashes and fever. The Israeli Ministry of Health assumes that the stewardess of El Al Airlines got infected with measles viruses in Israel or during the flight. The woman is still in a coma.
CNN reports that the 43-year-old flight attendant got a fever during the flight and was hospitalized the same day. Doctors diagnosed the patient with encephalitis, which can develop if the brain becomes infected during the rash phase. "The patient has been in a deep coma for 10 days and we are now only hoping for the best," said Deputy Director General of the Ministry, Dr. Itamar Grotto, opposite CNN. The woman cannot breathe alone and is supported by a ventilator in the intensive care unit of the Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba.
The Ministry had previously announced that a measles-infected passenger had boarded another flight from New York. "The flight from El Al 002 took off from Kennedy Airport in New York City on March 26, 2019 and arrived in Israel on March 27," said a spokeswoman for the health ministry. The spokeswoman appealed to the passengers and flight crew to go to a hospital with even minimal signs of illness.
According to CBS New York, a passenger had traveled to Michigan, where he allegedly distributed the virus to 38 other people. Again, all fellow travelers are asked to contact a doctor - even if there are no symptoms.
“The Ministry of Health emphasized that even if there is any suspicion that everyone on board has to call your family doctor immediately. Staying in public spaces such as schools, buses, shopping centers, etc. should be avoided, ”said a spokeswoman for the ministry.
Measles is a highly contagious disease. According to the health department, contact of non-immunized people with the virus is very likely to lead to illness. This does not apply to people who have been vaccinated or who have had measles themselves.
The transmission takes place by droplet infection. When coughing, sneezing or speaking, the pathogens get into the air and can pass on the disease even a few meters away. Staying in one room can be sufficient, regardless of the length of contact. The viruses in the air usually die after a few hours.
Why are measles so contagious?
A typical rash develops after four to seven days
The disease usually begins with a high fever, cough, runny nose, inflammation in the nasopharynx and the conjunctiva, as well as white spots of lime on the oral mucosa. After three to seven days, the typical rash forms, which begins behind the ears and face, then spreads over the whole body and persists for four to seven days.
The rash is spotty, gnarled and flowing into each other; The soles of the hands and feet are usually spared, over time the red spots become darker.
Compulsory vaccinations ordered
A public health emergency has now been declared in New York City due to a measles outbreak in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. The authorities even ordered forced vaccinations in the neighborhood.
Since September 2018, around 250 people in the New York district have been infected with measles, which is why the mayor of the district proclaimed a so-called “measles crisis”. In the course of this, an order was issued asking everyone in the neighborhood to be vaccinated if they have not yet been vaccinated against measles. This includes children older than 6 months. (sb)