Passengers told to see doctors after measles scare on flight to Israel

The flight, Turkish Airlines Flight 788, flew from Istanbul to Tel Aviv last Thursday.

October 16, 2018 18:36
1 minute read.
Turkish Airlines

A Turkish Airlines plane in Istanbul. . (photo credit: REUTERS)


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A passenger infected with measles boarded a flight to Israel last week, the Tel Aviv District Health Bureau warned.

The flight, Turkish Airlines Flight 788, flew from Istanbul to Tel Aviv last Thursday. The bureau advised highly vulnerable people to contact medical services as soon as possible.

“Flight passengers belonging to one of the risk groups are requested to call tomorrow to discuss the need for vac- cination: infants under the age of 12 months, pregnant women and peo- ple with immune system deficiencies or those who receive treatment that suppresses the immune system,” the bureau requested.

The number of people in Israel infect- ed with measles has spiked significant- ly, from 33 in 2017 to nearly 300 in 2018, including two cases in which the virus spread through pediatric hospital wards.

According to the Health Ministry, 90% of the cases in Israel were of peo- ple who had not been vaccinated or those who came into contact with unvaccinated people.

Earlier this year, Deputy Health Min - ister Ya’acov Litzman announced that he was considering conditioning chil- dren’s registration to preschools and elementary schools for the 2019-2020 school year on being up-to-date with their vaccines, unless there is a medical reason for them not to be vaccinated.

Measles is one of the most serious infectious diseases. Symptoms typ- ically appear seven to 14 days after a person is infected and can include high fever, coughing, runny nose, red or watery eyes and sometimes Koplik spots – tiny white spots that can appear in the mouth two or three days after the onset of symptoms if they appear at all, the Health Ministry said.

Additionally, a rash breaks out three to five days after symptoms appear, beginning as flat red spots on the face that can spread all over the body. The flat spots may also have small red bumps on top. As the spots spread, they may fuse together and there may also be a spike in body temperature.

Measles can have lasting effects such as hearing loss. It is fatal for approx- imately one in 1,000 children who catch the disease.

The best protection against the virus is the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, which is 97% effective when the recommended two doses are received on time, the Health Ministry stated.

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