Health officials warn of measles outbreak after passenger flies with disease
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Health officials warn of measles outbreak after passenger flies with disease

Ministry says over 600 people have contracted illness in 2018, a 2,000 percent rise over 2017; children and others on plane from Eilat to Tel Aviv urged to get checked

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative image of a baby with a skin disease. (Triocean/iStock Images/Getty)
Illustrative image of a baby with a skin disease. (Triocean/iStock Images/Getty)

The Health Ministry warned passengers who flew from Eilat to Tel Aviv on Tuesday to get checked for measles after a passenger on the plane was found to have the disease, amid a major outbreak of the illness.

Passengers who took Israir flight 6H474 from Eilat to Tel Aviv Tuesday afternoon were asked Wednesday to notify their doctor that they were in contact with someone who has measles and to be wary if they develop a temperature or a rash.

Those with a weakened immune system, such as children under the age of 12, pregnant women, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, those undergoing high-dosage steroid treatment, and AIDS patients were asked to immediately consult with medical professionals about the need to receive a vaccine.

The warning comes as health officials have pointed to a marked increase in measles cases throughout the country, possibly fed by the anti-vaccination movement.

Since the beginning of the year 623 Israelis have fallen ill with measles, according to Health Ministry figures, up from 34 a year before, an almost 2,000 percent rise.

The ministry said 19 people contracted the illness in the first 10 days of October.

According to the Hadashot news channel, an 11-month-old baby admitted to Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv over the weekend may have exposed over 100 other children to measles.

The Health Ministry contacted over 100 parents whose children had passed through the department at the time and asked them to immediately come in for preventative treatment.

Inquiries to the Jerusalem District Health Bureau can be made at 02-5314847 or 02-5314813/4/7.

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