Rotem Amitai, a flight attendant with El Al Airlines, died on Tuesday after a five month battle with the measles. She leaves behind three children.
On March 26, Amitai contracted the virus during El Al flight 002 that departed from New York to Israel. Shortly after, Amitai started experiencing symptoms of the virus, including a high fever and rash. Amitai was then immediately admitted to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba. Her condition continued to worsen, suffering from respiratory failure and eventually loss of consciousness.
Amitai was eventually transferred to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva where she was pronounced dead early Tuesday.
It was learned after her death that Rotem Amitai indeed had a measles vaccination, but that there are typically two shots given for a measles vaccination, and she had only received one. Her body had apparently not developed the necessary immunity because of not following up with her second vaccination, and ultimately, led to her death.
While the body can indeed develop an immunity after only one shot, some people will need both in order to get the full benefits of the vaccination. Unfortunately for Amitai, it was already too late.
El Al Airlines instructed all its flight attendants to immediately get vaccinated against the virus following the incident. It also put out a statement following Amitai's death.
"El Al bows its head in grief in light of the death of one of our aircrew members. After the incident, the company acted to immediately vaccine all its aircrews. The company will continue to act on the issue in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines. We send our condolences to the family and will continue to support them.”