A flight attendant who works for Israeli's national airline El Al has contracted measles and is now in a "deep coma." The 43-year-old woman, who has not been identified, has encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain.

Encephalitis can cause confused thinking, seizures, or problems with senses or movement, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The flight attendant's condition is considered a rare example of encephalitis being life-threatening.

"She's been in a deep coma for 10 days, and we're now just hoping for the best," said Dr. Itamar Grotto, associate director general of Israel's Ministry of Health.

It is unknown whether the flight attendant contracted measles in New York, Israel, or a location in between. Health officials, however, do not believe she infected anyone during her travel duties. 

As of April 15, there have been 555 confirmed cases across the U.S. of measles since the beginning of 2019 and the second-highest number of cases in the U.S. over the last 25 years, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Associated Press recently noted that there have only been three measles-related deaths reported in the U.S. since 2000.

Measles vaccine Measles symptoms typically develop 10–12 days after exposure and last about 7–10 days. Photo: Getty Images