An El Al Boeing 747 passenger jet is towed to its gate after landing at Ben Gurion Airport July 9, 2003 near Tel Aviv, Israel. The Israeli government has begun to sell off all 100% of its stake in El Al, hoping to raise as much as US$150 million, about equal to what is owed in employee liabilities. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A 43-year-old flight attendant for the Israeli national airline El Al has died several months after contracting measles on a transatlantic flight from New York.

She was hospitalized after contracting the infectious disease in late March and placed in an induced coma. She was on a respirator and reportedly had suffered brain damage. A passenger boarded the flight while sick with the virus, The Jerusalem Post reported at the time.

The flight attendant had only received one shot of the measles vaccine instead of the recommended two, according to The Times of Israel.

Israel saw a serious outbreak of measles in 2019 that was pegged to lower than average vaccination rates in the haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, community. Two Israelis — an 18-month-old baby and an 82-year-old woman — have died from the disease.

In late April, more than 250 El Al crew members were vaccinated against the measles after the Health Ministry in Israel ordered all local airlines to inoculate their staffs, especially those who come into contact with travelers. At the time, the Health Ministry also called on Israelis to be fully vaccinated before flying out of the country.


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