An air hostess who was diagnosed with measles after flying from New York to Israel has died. The family of Rotem Amitai confirmed to CBS News that the 43-year-old died after being hospitalized for months.
"Rotem was a wonderful woman and a devoted mother," her family said in a statement, according to the Israeli news outlet Ynetnews. "We are grieving her for early departure."
The mother of three worked for the Israeli airline El Al. She began experiencing symptoms in late March after being on an El Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv, Israeli media reported. Around that time, a county declared about 40 miles north of New York Citydue to a measles outbreak. It was unclear how Amitai affected the virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms of measles show between seven and 14 days after a person comes into contact with the highly infectious virus. Humans can be infected by breathing polluted air or touching a contaminated surface and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose.
Amitai was admitted to a hospital in April, and she remained hospitalized until her death on Tuesday, Ynetnews reported. According to the Times of Israel, she had meningoencephalitis, a complication of measles that affects the brain and its feed.
While receiving treatment, it was determined that Amitai had received only one of the two recommended shots for measles vaccine. . In response, El Al told his flight attendants to be vaccinated, according to reports.
"El Al is grieving over the death of a member of the airline's flight crew," the airline said in a statement to CBS News. "We have taken steps to have our flight crews inoculated."
Amitai is the third person to have died of measles in Israel since November, according to the Times of Israel.