More than one thousand people may have been exposed to the measles virus at two events held in the town of Kfar Chabad over the past week, raising fears that the measles epidemic in Israel could worsen.
Since this March, more than 2,500 measles infections have been reported in Israel, with the largest number of infections being reported in October and November.
The virus has spread most rapidly in the haredi community, due in large part to the growing number of people in the haredi sector who have not been vaccinated against measles.
On Tuesday, Israel’s health ministry issued warnings to participants in two separate events in Kfar Chabad, after it was discovered that a person present at the events was infected with measles.
In one message, the Health Ministry warned individuals who took part in a special event in Kfar Chabad last Wednesday that they may have been exposed to the virus, as a person now known to be infected was present.
“Due to the presence at the event of a person infected with measles, if you are a member of an at-risk group – someone who has not been vaccinated or only partially vaccinated, or has a weak immune system – please contact the Health Ministry,” a message issued by the ministry read.
The ministry also warned participants at another event in Kfar Chabad, held on Sunday, that they may have been exposed to the virus. Some 1,000 were at the event and may have come into contact with the infected individual.
The Healthy Ministry urged participants in the event who are not vaccinated to get the necessary shots, and to keep an eye out for symptoms of the disease.