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A MA­JOR out­break of measles in Is­rael has caused one death and over a thou­sand cases in the last eight months, of­fi­cials have re­vealed.

A ma­jor­ity of the cases were recorded in Jerusalem, in­clud­ing that of an 18-month-old girl who was brought last Thurs­day to Shaarei Tzedek hos­pi­tal with­out a pulse and not breath­ing. The doc­tors failed to save her life.

It was the first case of a child dy­ing from measles in Is­rael since 1990. The child be­longed to a Charedi sect in Jerusalem which for re­li­gious rea­sons do not record births of their chil­dren with the health au­thor­i­ties, mean­ing they are not rou­tinely in­oc­u­lated.

Is­raeli chil­dren are usu­ally in­oc­u­lated for measles twice, at the ages of one and six. Cases have been rare in re­cent decades. This year, how­ever, there have been some 1,300 cases, of which over half where in the Jerusalem area.

Most Charedi rab­bis are clear on the need to be in­oc­u­lated but the few small groups who ob­ject ap­pear to be the source of the lat­est cases in Jerusalem.

A measles out­break in Stam­ford Hill, North Lon­don, has been traced to res­i­dents who caught the dis­ease dur­ing a re­cent trip to Is­rael.

But the Is­raeli out­break is not con­fined to the Strictly Ortho­dox com­mu­nity and there have been nearly a hun­dred cases in Tel Aviv alone. Doc­tors as­cribe these to a small but per­sis­tent trend among sec­u­lar par­ents who op­pose giv­ing their chil­dren the vac­cine be­cause of widely dis­cred­ited on­line ar­ti­cles link­ing it to autism.

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