Israel Reports Measles Outbreak in Jerusalem

Israel Health Ministry says an unvaccinated person has a 90 percent higher risk of contracting the measles virus

EL AL airlines

Israel's healthcare professionals have confirmed a measles outbreak in Jerusalem during 2018, reports Vaaju.   

Jerusalem has reported the highest number of newly diagnosed measles cases of the highly infectious disease in Israel. 

So far this year, 341 cases of measles have been reported in Jerusalem, which is more than half of all reported cases in Isreal. 

Moreover, during September alone, 213 new measles cases were reported by the World Health Organization.   

This is important news since an estimated 3.6 million tourists visit ed Israel during 2017, reported The Jerusalem Post. The top 5 countries of origin for tourists to Israel were the US, Russia, France, Germany, and the UK. 

And, approximately 41 percent of the 2017 tourists were repeat visitors to Israel. 

Since the introduction of the measles vaccine in 1967, there has been a steady decline in the number of patients. 

But, there are still outbreaks of the disease, which occur mainly in populations that do not immunize their children, and as a result of international travel, says the Health Ministry. 

Previously, during July 2018, a 3-year-old boy with measles exposed an estimated 80 children from all over Israel to the disease, at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah, Tikva reported The Jerusalem Post.    

According to Isreal Health Ministry, a person who is not immunized and exposed to a measles patient has a 90 percent higher risk of contracting the disease.   

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Measles is caused by the measles virus which belongs to the paramyxovirus family. 

Measles is transmitted from person to person by spreading the virus into the environment during coughing, sneezing or contact with nasal discharge and phlegm. You can also get infected while in the patient's room, even a few hours later. 

The best and safest way to prevent measles and its complications is by getting a vaccine against the disease, says the Isreal Health Ministry. 

In the USA, two approved measles vaccines are available, MMR-II and ProQuad. 

International travelers can request a vaccine appointment with a pharmacy at Vax-Before-Travel. 

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information, and MMR vaccine discounts can be found here. 

The CDC says 24 states and the District of Columbia have confirmed 137 measles cases as of September 8, 2018.

Moreover, the CDC says there is no current multi-state measles outbreak in the United States.

And, as of October 11, 2018, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had not issued a Travel Alert regarding the measles outbreak in Isreal.