A vial of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and an information sheet is seen at a hospital.
(photo credit: REUTERS/BRIAN SNYDER)
The Health Ministry has issued a warning to the public about a measles carrier who may infected passengers aboard Israel Railways trains traveling from Ashkelon to Tel Aviv University on December 25, departing Ashkelon at 07:29 a.m., and returning at 16:00 p.m. Anyone who may have been exposed to the infectious virus, especially those born after 1957 who haven’t receive the necessary two shots, is being requested to visit a health clinic immediately in order to get vaccinated.
The measles epidemic has occupied health officials in the last months after an 18-month-old toddler died in Jerusalem on November 1. On Dec. 19, an 82-year-old woman in the capital became the second fatality from the outbreak.
The child’s death was the first recorded death from measles in Israel in 15 years. The baby, reportedly not vaccinated, was brought to the hospital without a pulse.
According to the Health Ministry, there were 948 measles cases in October, and 893 cases in November. As of last Wednesday, there have been 194 cases this month.
Despite the declining trend, the ministry is continuing to promote vaccinations and hopes to halt the spread completely.
The bulk of measles cases have been in the Jerusalem area
. The Health Ministry said earlier this year that 90% of the cases in Israel were either people who had not been vaccinated, or who came into contact with unvaccinated people.
Measles can have lasting effects such as hearing loss, and is fatal for one in 1,000 children who catch it.
The MMR vaccine is 97% effective in preventing infection with the measles virus when the recommended two doses are received on time, according to the Health Ministry.
Sara Rubinstein and Lahav Harkov contributed to this article.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>