Measles is a highly contagious viral disease which begins with a fever that lasts for a couple of days, followed by a cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and a rash. The rash typically appears first on the face, along the hairline, and behind the ears and then affects the rest of the body. Infected people are usually contagious from about 4 days before their rash starts to 4 days afterwards.
How Contagious Is Measles?
Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. Also, measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.
Infected people can spread measles to others from four days before through four days after the rash appears.
Measles is a disease of humans; measles virus is not spread by any other animal species.
Symptoms & Complications To Look For:
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More About Vaccinations
What Everyone Should Know
For Healthcare Professionals
Healthcare providers play an important role in MMR vaccine safety.
When talking with patients, healthcare providers must ensure that patients receive the recommended vaccines. Providers should share important information related to MMR vaccine benefits and risks, and answer questions about common safety concerns. Providers must be knowledgeable about precautions and contraindications and be prepared to manage vaccine reactions.
To learn more, visit the CDC's MMR Vaccine site.
For Stanislaus County
Contact the Stanislaus County Immunization Program
Phone: (209) 558-7700
Fax: (209) 558-7531
Other Useful Measles Resources