An outbreak of measles in Israel, where over 1,000 cases have been reported since September, has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to advise travelers to the country to make sure they are vaccinated against measles with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.


As of Nov. 5, the Israel Ministry of Health has reported 1,401 cases in 2018, with the bulk of them reported in just the past few months.

Cities that have been hit the hardest include Jerusalem (838), Tzfat (219) and Petah Tikva and Tel Aviv both recording 89 cases each.

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Most of the cases have been reported in individuals under the age of 20.

In addition, some measles outbreak reported in the United States have been linked to individuals who contracted measles in Israel.

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CDC recommends travelers do the following to protect themselves:

  1. Make sure you are fully vaccinated or otherwise protected against measles.
  2. People who cannot show that they were vaccinated or are otherwise protected against measles should get vaccinated before leaving the United States:
    • Infants (6 through 11 months of age) should have 1 dose of MMR vaccine.
    • Adults and children over 1 year of age should have 2 doses of MMR vaccine given on or after the first birthday and separated by at least 28 days.
  3. Avoid contact with people who are sick.

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Measles is a disease that can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs), and even death. It is caused by a highly contagious virus that is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. Signs and symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes.

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