An Israeli flight attendant who was hospitalized in April after catching measles on a plane has died, becoming the third fatality in an outbreak of the highly contagious disease.
The El Al flight attendant, named Tuesday as Rotem Amitai, 43, had contracted measles on a flight from New York in late March.
Her condition deteriorated later that month and she was moved to an isolated intensive care unit, after slipping into a coma and suffering brain damage.
Amitai, a mother of three, was working on board El AL flight 002 from John F. Kennedy Airport to Tel Aviv on March 26.
“Rotem was a wonderful person and a dedicated mother,” a statement from her family said.
Blood tests revealed that she had been vaccinated with only one shot against measles instead of the two inoculations recommended for her age group. Consequently, El Al instructed all flight attendants at the time to get measles shots.
A 10-year-old boy is in a coma at Schneider Medical Center in Petah Tikva with suspected brain damage and is attached to a ventilator, after similarly contracting measles.
In November, an 18-month-old toddler in Jerusalem died of the disease, the first recorded death from measles in Israel in the past 15 years. A month later, an 82-year-old woman became the second fatality.