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Tuesday, March 26, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Israel battles measles outbreak as infant dies of disease

An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man stands at the headquarter of of municipal candidate Yossi Daitch during the municipal elections in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. The Israeli Health Ministry is launching a campaign to promote vaccinaton amid the country’s worst measles outbreak with more than 1,200 cases since the beginning of 2018. Several Ultra-Orthodox Jewish sects oppose vaccines. (Oded Balilty / Associated Press)
An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man stands at the headquarter of of municipal candidate Yossi Daitch during the municipal elections in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. The Israeli Health Ministry is launching a campaign to promote vaccinaton amid the country’s worst measles outbreak with more than 1,200 cases since the beginning of 2018. Several Ultra-Orthodox Jewish sects oppose vaccines. (Oded Balilty / Associated Press)
Associated Press

JERUSALEM – Israel is grappling with one of its worst measles outbreak in decades, with over 1,200 cases reported since the beginning of 2018.

Israeli media reported Thursday that an 18-month-old baby died of complications of the disease at a Jerusalem hospital, the country’s first death from measles since 2003. The child was not vaccinated.

The outbreak comes as the World Health Organization has reported tens of thousands of measles cases across Europe.

Measles is a highly contagious disease and one of the leading causes of death worldwide in young children, according to the World Health Organization. It is easily prevented with a vaccine.

In Israel, several Utra-Orthodox Jewish sects oppose vaccination, and the Health Ministry has stepped up a campaign to increase vaccination rates in unprotected communities in recent months.

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