According to the Israel Ministry of Health, as of December 10th 2018 there were 2400 reported cases of measles in Israel, but many more cases go unreported. Most cases have been in Jerusalem (1200+), Tzfat, Tel Aviv, and Petach Tikva although almost every region has been affected. Since August the number of people with Measles has doubled every month from 116 cases in August to 321 cases in September to 735 cases in October.
This is consistent with a significant outbreak. 76% of the cases have been in children ages 0-19 years old, although people from all age ranges have contracted the disease. To date one unvaccinated toddler died of measles in Jerusalem.
Someone who has not been vaccinated has a 90% chance of catching Measles if exposed to the virus, so the need to vaccinate has never been more critical. According to the World Health Organization, herd immunity, or passive protection for unvaccinated people, exists only in age-populations where 95% of the age-population has been fully immunized. In many communities (and sub-communities) this threshold has not been met, leading to our current outbreak, which is effecting Israel and many Jewish communities in the US and abroad.
Common complications from measles include pneumonia, ear infections, bronchitis, and diarrhea. Less common but deadly side effects are widely publicized when they occur. One in a thousand people who contract measles will develop acute encephalopathy or inflammation of the brain, which often results in permanent brain damage. One or 2 children per thousand affected by measles will die of complications, usually respiratory or neurological. Most people don’t know that 7-10 years after having measles, people can develop Sub acute sclerosing panencephalitis, which is a degenerative disease causing neurological deterioration and seizures.
People at risk for complications from Measles include infants and children under age 5, adults over age 20, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems. Because of the high susceptibility of young adults and children, MMR vaccines have become mandatory before admission to US colleges and most institutes of higher education internationally.
Measles transmits via airborne microscopic droplets that go in the air when we talk, cough, sneeze, and even breathe. The droplets are so light that they can remain in the air for up to 2 hours. The droplets travel over a meter from the person transmitting the illness. People are contagious for 4 days before the rash appears until about 4 days after the rash appears. So many people are exposed before the sick individual knows they are sick. The rash usually appears about 14 days after exposure to the disease. Some immunocompromised people do not develop a rash, but remain contagious and at risk for severe complications.
VACCINATE. Measles is absolutely a preventable illness which has resurfaced because of specific populations that are under- or un-vaccinated.
BLOOD TEST. If you are unsure about immunity to measles, it is possible to test for measles antibodies. EMA Care is here to assist in getting this blood test. It will not be covered by student insurance, but it will give you peace of mind.
Beginning next year, the Ministry of Health has informed us that Gap Year programs will be required to assure that foreign students have 2 MMR vaccines prior to attending school in Israel. A notice will be sent to schools in the coming weeks.
I write to express my hakarat hatov (positive recognition) and my gratitude to the two health professionals from EMA Care that have been from the start professionally involved and continue to be interested in my care and long-term recovery.
After a serious fracture, I was hospitalized in the north, and my insurance company recommended EMA Care services to help me. After a surgeon was pressuring me to sign consent for surgery, I realized that I needed to remain...
I would like to recommend Eliana (EMA care) for her sensitive and timely help for clients who are having difficulty navigating the health care system Israel, specifically for Anglos, whether new olim or those of us who been here for many years.
The obstacles of interfacing with the health care system here is daunting, especially at a time when one is going through an acute or chronic condition that is protracted and complicated. Often one doesn’t know whom to turn to or where to go,...
During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.
After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the...
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!
We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.
My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and...
When our son was injured in a car accident during his yeshiva year in Israel, he had to start navigating the medical system on his own. But once we contacted Dr. Eliana Aaron at EMA Care (www.HealthCareIsrael.com), she immediately flew into action. Dr. Aaron accompanied our son in the ER and made sure he and we knew at every step exactly what was done and what needed to be done, especially important for someone who suffered a concussion and...
My son went to Israel for a year requiring infusion every 6-8 weeks. It was very stressful at times to coordinate getting his meds sent to Israel, scheduling appointments, and having to worry about him going on his own. Then a friend told me about EMA Care. EMA Care was truly amazing.
You can speak to an American who understands your concerns and will walk you through the entire process, from dealing with insurance to making appointments, and even getting someone to escort your...
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He actually seems much calmer than he has been in a long time and he is very happy with what the EMA Care staff has done so far.
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“EMA” Care is so fitting a name for Dr. Eliana Aaron’s exceptional gap year concierge health care service. Dr. Aaron is not only an incredible health care professional; she is also an “Ema Extraordinaire” in every sense of the word. My child had a range of medical needs while abroad, some anticipated and others not, and she was there for him (and me) – even in the middle of the night, -- always calm, reassuring, thinking out of the box, getting him to the appropriate medical professionals...