Measles causes fever, runny nose, cough and a rash. The rash typically starts on the face along the hairline and behind the ears and then spreads over the rest of the body. Measles can cause serious health complications.
The best way to prevent measles is through the wide-spread use of the measles vaccine. The vaccine to prevent measles is the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.
About the MMR Vaccine
- The best protection against measles is MMR vaccine. MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles.
- Children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine:
- First dose: 12 through 15 months of age
- Second dose: 4 through 6 years of age.
- Adults born in 1957 or later should have at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Adults born prior to 1957 are considered to be immune, unless they are health care personnel.
- Health care personnel, college and other students, and international travelers need two appropriately spaced doses, unless they have evidence of measles immunity.
- People who received two doses of MMR vaccine as children according to the U.S. vaccination schedule do not ever need a booster dose.
Two doses of measles-containing vaccine (MMR vaccine) are about 97% effective in preventing measles. If you are unsure of your vaccination status, check with your healthcare provider or local health department.
Guidance for Healthcare Providers and information on possible Measles exposure can be found at the DPHHS Communicable Disease Page.
For more information:
MMR (Measles, Mumps, & Rubella) Vaccine Information Statement