The Israeli Health Ministry has warned citizens to avoid traveling to five countries due to the measles outbreak.
On Tuesday, the ministry issued an official travel advisory warning against travel to Ukraine, Georgia, Madagascar, Albania and Liberia, and urging travelers to receive a measles vaccination before boarding a plane if they do.
“According to the World Health Organization (WHO) these five countries have the highest rates of measles. Therefore, the Health Ministry recommends that those planning to travel to these countries reconsider whether the trip is absolutely necessary.”
More than 85 percent of adults are already immune, due to having had the illness as a child, or having received the vaccine, according to the Health Ministry.
However, in Israel 70 percent of measles cases were diagnosed in children, according to a warning on the Health Ministry site.
“Vaccinating children is therefore a top priority,” reads the warning. “All children should receive their first dose [of the vaccine] at the age of twelve months and a second dose in first grade. Children who did not receive a vaccination yet should be vaccinated as soon as possible.”
Adults born after 1957 must ensure they received BOTH doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. As of May 8, 2019, there were 4,115 confirmed cases of measles in Israel since the start of the outbreak – an average of nine new measles cases per day.