Measles Outbreak

Protect your Child with the Measles Vaccine

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus and can be serious for young children. Protect your child by making sure he or she is up to date on vaccinations, including before traveling abroad.

California is one of the states listed for increase for measles.


  • Start with a fever
  • A cough, runny nose, and red eyes
  • A rash of tiny, res spots breaks out
  • It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body
  • It can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), and death

Measles is highly contagious and can spread 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. This disease can be serious for young children and that is why it is important to vaccinate your children.

You can protect you child against measles with a combination vaccine that provides protection against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). The MMR vaccine is prevent to be very safe and effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children receive two doses:

  • the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and
  • the second dose before entering school at 4 through 6 years of age

Your child’s doctor may offer the MMRV vaccine, which 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 the MMR vaccine if a child needs to have the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine in addition to measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines. Your child’s doctor can help you decide which vaccine to use.

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 be up to date on vaccinations.