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El Al

El-Al Flight Attendant in Measles-Induced Coma

El-Al Flight Attendant in Measles-Induced Coma
Jennifer Billock

Did you take an El Al flight from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York to Israel on March 26? You might consider heading to the doctor to get checked out, especially if you’ve been feeling unwell; a flight attendant from that flight is hospitalized and in a coma thanks to measles-induced encephalitis.

Passengers on El Al Flight 002 flying from JFK in New York to Tel Aviv on March 26: If you’re feeling unwell, get to a doctor right away. A flight attendant from that flight is in the hospital in a coma right now due to measles. She’s currently battling encephalitis, a complication of measles that’s a swelling of the brain and affects one in every thousand that gets the illness.

“Our hearts are with our El Al sister who is battling this disease and our thoughts are with her for a full recovery,” said Taylor Garland, a spokeswoman for the union the Association of Flight Attendants, reported by The New York Times. “Her suffering should give the public and crew urgency to heed the recommendations of health officials.”

Measles is highly contagious. Symptoms appear between six and 21 days following exposure to the disease, and include a fever as the first sign, possibly followed by bloodshot eyes, light sensitivity, a dark red rash, a cough, and a bloody nose.

Israeli health officials have recommended that every airline in Israel has its staff immunized with two doses of the measles vaccine, and notes the airlines have already begun to comply with the suggestion.


[Image Source: Source: Wikimedia/Michaelg2588]

View Comments (2)


  1. skidooman

    April 22, 2019 at 6:27 am

    There is a vaccine against measles. My understanding is, the immense majority CAN get immunized, only a small portion cannot. And they get “immunized” through herd immunity: the sickness has nowhere to go in the group if the group is largely immunized.

    So, albeit we should wish her a speedy recovery, we certainly should start asking questions here. She may be one of the few unlucky fellows that cannot be immunized. But most of those that do not get immunized aren’t doing so out of a real medical concern. They do it because of false news and false information. These become a real menace to public safety. Perhaps it is the time for personal beliefs to yield to hard scientific facts?

    If you aren’t immunized and you are not one of the unlucky persons that cannot get immunized, perhaps you should not be allowed to fly at all. A self-contained environment like a plane is already a pretty good vector of germs, no need to tempt faith.

  2. DisneyObsessed

    April 22, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    There is also a possibility that the FA was immunized and, for wherever reason, the immunization didn’t work. There are a lot of people unknowingly in tis situation. We had my daughters titers checks and discovered that she had no immunity to two of the diseases that should have been prevented by the MMR vaccine (can’t remember which two). Her vaccinations were up to date and luckily it was caught and she has since redone her vaccination. She was three when this was discovered.

    Same thing happened to my husband. He had all three of the Hep series and had to get a booster later after a titer check revealed no immunity.

    This is one of several reasons that anyone who can be vaccinated get the vaccine. We need herd immunity for those who are not protected through no fault of their own.

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