A federal government Website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Before you leave for your trip, read this CDC Travel Notice about measles in the Philippines that was posted on March 18, 2014.
From January 1 to April 18, 2014, 129 people in the United States have been reported as having measles. Usually only about 60 cases in the United States are reported each year.
Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. Measles starts with a fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. Measles can be serious for young children. It can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), and death. Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.
People in the United States still get measles, but it's not very common. That's because most people in this country are protected against measles through vaccination. However, since measles is still common in other parts of the world, including many countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa, measles is brought into the United States by people who get infected while they are abroad.
Measles can spread quickly in communities where people are not vaccinated. Children and anyone else who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting infected. That's why it is so important to make sure your child's vaccines are up to date, including before traveling abroad.
You can protect your child against measles with a combination vaccine that provides protection against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). The MMR vaccine is proven to be very safe and effective. CDC recommends that children get two doses—
Your child's doctor may offer the MMRV vaccine, which is a combination vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox). MMRV vaccine is licensed for children 12 months through 12 years of age. It may be used in place of MMR vaccine if a child needs to have varicella vaccine in addition to measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines. Your child's doctor can help you decide which vaccine to use.
People 6 months of age and older should be protected against measles before they travel abroad.
Talk with your child's doctor to see if he or she should be vaccinated before traveling abroad.
Some adults need measles vaccine too. For more information, see Measles Vaccination: Who Needs It?
Most health insurance plans cover the cost of vaccines. But you may want to check with your health insurance provider before going to the doctor. Learn how to pay for vaccines.
If you don't have insurance or if your insurance does not cover vaccines for your child, the Vaccines for Children Program may be able to help. This program helps families of eligible children who might not otherwise have access to vaccines. To find out if your child is eligible, visit the VFC website or ask your child's doctor. You can also contact your state VFC coordinator.
Download CDC’s mobile app now!
Click “Disease of the Week,” find measles, and take the quiz to test your knowledge! Available on iOS, Android and Windows 8 tablets
Last syndicated: April 23, 2014
This content is brought to you by: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)