The 43-year-old woman has encephalitis. She is on a respirator, unable to breathe on her own, in the intensive care unit at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba. There are measles outbreaks in both New York and Israel, leaving health officials to believe she may have contracted measles from a passenger. The measles cases in Rockland County, New York, and in Brooklyn have been traced to unvaccinated members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community who traveled to Israel.
The woman received only one dose of measles vaccine as a child. In New York, Mayor Bill De Blasio has declared a state of emergency and has threatened to fine any families that don’t get their children vaccinated in light of the outbreak. Last week, a state of emergency was declared and all schools in four ZIP codes, including Williamsburg, were ordered to exclude any unvaccinated children. New York City health officials shut down United Talmudical Academy, a daycare center in Brooklyn, after the school refused to hand over medical records to confirm all their children were vaccinated. The national measles outbreak is continuing to spread in 25 US states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. The highly infectious disease has been spreading among people who are unvaccinated or live in states that allow non-medical exemptions for vaccines. The CDC recommends children receive the first dose at 12 to 15 months old and the second dose at four to six years old.