Bnei Brak hospital bans children from hospital amidst measles outbreak

The six-year-old boy was with his father when they went to visit his mother after she gave birth, likely exposing newborns in the vicinity to the infectious illness.

November 15, 2018 14:11
1 minute read.
Doctor holding syringe

Close up of female doctor holding syringe with injection (iilustrative). (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)

Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak banned all children from the hospital on Thursday unless they require medical treatment, including youth who have  been vaccinated against measles.

The ban, announced by Mayanei Hayeshua’s spokesperson, was likely instituted because dozens of babies were exposed to measles after an infected child visited the hospital in the ultra-Orthodox city.

The six-year-old boy was with his father when they went to visit his mother after she gave birth, likely exposing 50 babies and 15 mothers of newborns to the highly contagious measles virus, Channel 2 reported on Wednesday. One or two out of every 1,000 children who become infected with measles die from respiratory and neurological complications.

The father reportedly knew his son, who had not been vaccinated, was carrying the measles virus but nevertheless brought him to the hospital, Haaretz reported.

While the hospital enacted its policy barring children from entering the maternity ward two weeks ago in order to prevent just such a mass infection, nonetheless the boy managed to enter the department.

“The boy walked around for about two hours and apparently spread the measles virus all over the maternity ward, so we had to vaccinate about 50 infants with a vaccine, which was a great deal of work,” said hospital director Prof. Mordechai Ravid, Maariv, The Jerusalem Post’s sister newspaper reported.

There have been 882 incidents of measles in Israel since the start of the year, and the epidemic is especially prevalent in Jerusalem’s haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community, Health Ministry officials said on Monday.

An 18-month-old baby died from the measles at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center on November 1.
Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

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