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By Ben Kesslen
An Israeli flight attendant is in a coma after contracting measles, Israeli officials say.
The 43 year-old woman, who works as a flight attendant for El Al, Israel’s national airline, was hospitalized in Tel Aviv at the end of March.
Israeli Health Ministry reported there was a passenger with measles on a March 26 flight from New York to Israel, and told passengers and crew to be vigilant for symptoms of the easily-spread disease.
“There is a misconception out there that measles is a trivial and inconsequential diseases,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director said.
“Some of those complication can be very serious,” he explained, “like we are seeing with this flight attendant.”
While the flight attendant is fighting for her life, Israeli health officials reportedly do not think she spread the disease to any passengers.
The U.S. has seen a surge in measles in 2019, with 555 individual cases of the disease confirmed by the CDC in 20 different states.
“Vaccines are safe and they are critical, not just for public health but for the health of the people they love most,” Robert Gordon, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director, told NBC News.