Measles

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Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. According to the CDC, measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected. The best protection against measles is the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, also known as MMR vaccine.

Am I protected against measles?

CDC considers you protected from measles if you have written documentation (records) showing at least one of the following:

  • You received two doses of measles-containing vaccine, and you are a(n) —
    • school-aged child (grades K-12)
    • adult who will be in a setting that poses a high risk for measles transmission, including students at post-high school education institutions, healthcare personnel, and international travelers.
  • You received one dose of measles-containing vaccine, and you are a(n) —
    • preschool-aged child
    • adult who will not be in a high-risk setting for measles transmission.
  • A laboratory confirmed that you had measles at some point in your life.
  • A laboratory confirmed that you are immune to measles.
  • You were born before 1957.
Vaccination for Children

CDC recommends 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.

 

Vaccination for Teens and Adults born in or after 1957

Teens and adults, born in or after 1957, should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination. Individuals unsure whether they have been vaccinated, should check with their doctor. If shot records are not available, individuals should speak with their doctor about vaccination or a blood test to determine immunity.

Adults Born Before 1957

CDC considers you protected from measles if you have written documentation (records) showing you were born before 1957. Individuals born before 1957 are considered protected from natural immunity because of the prevalence of the disease before vaccination was available.

International Travel

For international travelers, CDC considers you protected from measles if you have written documentation (records) showing at least one of the following:

  • You received one dose of measles-containing vaccine, and you are an infant aged 6–11 months
  • You received two doses of measles-containing vaccine, and you are a person 12 months or older
  • A laboratory confirmed that you had measles at some point in your life
  • A laboratory confirmed that you are immune to measles
  • You were born before 1957
Symptoms of Measles

Symptoms include a fever that lasts for a few days, followed by a cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and a rash. The rash typically appears first on the face, and then affects the rest of the body. Infected individuals are usually contagious from 4 days before their rash appears to 4 days afterwards. Anyone experiencing symptoms should immediately call their medical provider and follow their advice. Going to a provider’s office or local emergency room without calling first is not advised. Providers need to make special arrangements to evaluate someone, if needed, without putting other patients and medical office staff at risk.

For Healthcare Professionals

Think Measles. Do you know CDC's Guidelines for Patient evaluation, Diagnosis and Management? Www.cdc.gov/measles/hcp/
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