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Living Well

Measles Outbreaks Call for Vaccination!

Last updated: Mar 27, 2013



Recent measles outbreaks call for vaccinations and booster shots
for anyone who has not had
or who needs to update his or her measles vaccine.

What is measles?

Measles is a very contagious virus. It is transmitted through the air in respiratory droplets when someone who is infected breaths, coughs, and sneezes. Measles can cause severe complications, including bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, diarrhea, and swelling of the brain (encephalitis). It also can cause miscarriage and premature birth as well as low birth weight.

If you have not been vaccinated for measles and if you have been exposed to the disease, you are likely to contract it. Measles typically incubates from 7 to 18 days after exposure.You can spread measles 4 days before and 4 days after a rash appears.

Measles symptoms include:

  • A red, itchy, rash on the face and body
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Pink eye (conjuctivitis)
  • Runny nose

Children age 5 years and younger and adults age 20 years and older are most susceptible to measles and its complications. 

To protect yourself and your loved ones from measles, check to be sure your measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations are up to date.


In addition to protecting you and your family,
vaccines protect infants and children too young for vaccines
as well as people who cannot have vaccines for medical reasons.

Because measles is very contagious,
you should call your doctor first
before visiting his or her office
if you think you have been exposed to or have measles.

Even if you have a severe allergy to eggs,
you can have a measles vaccine.