An Outbreak of Measles

November 8, 2018

by: Janet Aslin

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Child with day-four measles rash

Thursday, 8 November 2018 | Last week an 18-month-old toddler died in Jerusalem, the first measles-related death in Israel since 2003. Currently the nation is experiencing an outbreak of this highly contagious, viral disease. This is the worst outbreak the country has faced in decades. So far there have been 1,401 cases reported. In comparison, there were only 33 cases of measles reported in 2017.

The Times of Israel wrote, “According to Professor Shai Ashkenazi, director of the Israeli Pediatric Society, measles ‘was on the cusp of extinction, but because of a decline in vaccination has made a big comeback. In Europe, too, in the first half of 2018 there were more than 41,000 incidents of infection with at least 37 deaths.’” 

Highest at risk are those who have not been inoculated, which include many of the ultra-Orthodox community members. Israel’s Ministry of Health has responded by sending mobile vaccination clinics to neighborhoods with low immunization rates and extending hours of operation for health clinics. Sixty percent of the cases are from Jerusalem with Tzfat (Safed) reporting approximately 15% of the total. The ministry is monitoring the situation closely and said it may look into the possibility of preventing unvaccinated children from attending school as a protective measure.

Posted on November 8, 2018

Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 8, 2018)

Photo Credit: Barbara Rice/wikimedia.org