Measles: The rates of Measles outbreaks are increasing – how can I protect my children?

What is Measles? Measles is a virus (Morbillivirus) that is spread by the infected person coughing and sneezing near others. It is highly contagious. If an unvaccinated person is near an infected person, the unvaccinated person has a 90% chance of contracting the virus and falling ill.

People infected with the virus are contagious up to 4 days before they even show symptoms of being ill (and contagious for a minimum of 4 days after their rash appears).

Signs and symptoms of Measles: fever (as high as 104), cough, red eyes (pink eye, but usually both eyes, not just one), cough and runny nose, white flat spots in the mouth (usually appear 2-3 days after the other symptoms-called Koplik’s spots) and a rash that is flat and red that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body (also 3-5 days after the start of the other symptoms).

Measles can weaken the immune system and make children more at risk for having ear infections, pneumonia, and in some instances a swelling of the brain (encephalitis) up to a month after their infection. The very young and the elderly are most at risk for serious illness due to Measles.

What can I do if my child is exposed?

Your child is considered vaccinated and covered for the measles vaccine if they have completed any of the following:

  • Infant 6-11 months and received a dose of MMR
  • Child 12 months up to 4 years if they have received 1 dose of MMR
  • Child 4 and older- received 2 doses of MMR
  • A laboratory test has confirmed your child is immune to the measles (

What is the risk that my child will get the Measles if they have been fully vaccinated (2 doses)?

1-3 out of 100 people who are vaccinated and are exposed to Measles will become ill. Generally, the illness is much milder (vs. 9 out of 10 children who are not vaccinated and exposed will become ill and infected with Measles).

What can I do if my child is not considered fully vaccinated or immune to Measles?

  • Make sure your child is vaccinated for Measles at 12 months of age and again at 4 years of age.
  • Call us if you believe your child has been exposed to Measles so we can best guide you with your child’s care.

What online resources are reliable for me to look at for more information?

Protecting Your Baby From a Measles Outbreak: FAQs –

CDC: Questions About Measles | CDC