Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles virus is highly contagious virus and spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Make sure you and your child are protected with measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)vaccine
Learn about measles, the vaccine to prevent it, and the importance of vaccinating according to CDC’s recommended schedule. See resources for parents and others who care for children (including childcare providers).
Consider measles in patients with a fever, rash, and cough, coryza and conjunctivitis—the three “C”s. Ask if they are vaccinated against measles and whether they have recently traveled internationally or if there’s measles in the community.
Measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world. Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting infected when they travel internationally. Make sure you and your family are up to date on measles vaccination.
Measles can be prevented with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. One dose of MMR vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing measles if exposed to the virus, and two doses are about 97% effective. In the United States, widespread use of measles vaccine has led to a greater than 99% reduction in measles cases compared with the pre-vaccine era. Since 2000, when measles was declared eliminated from the U.S., the annual number of people reported to have measles ranged from a low of 37 people in 2004 to a high of 644 people in 2014. Most of these originated outside the country or were linked to a case that originated outside the country.
CDC recommends all children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Children can receive the second dose earlier as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose.
Students at post-high school educational institutions
Students at post-high school educational institutions who do not have evidence of immunity against measles need two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.
Adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine.
People 6 months of age and older who will be traveling internationally should be protected against measles. Before any international travel—
- Infants 6 through 11 months of age should receive one dose of MMR vaccine. Infants who get one dose of MMR vaccine before their first birthday should get two more doses (one dose at 12 through 15 months of age and another dose at least 28 days later).
- Children 12 months of age and older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.
- Teenagers and adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.
Healthcare personnel should have documented evidence of immunity against measles, according to the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices[48 pages]. Healthcare personnel without evidence of immunity should get two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.
For more information, see measles vaccination recommendations.