Does the vaccine work?

YES- since 1963, the immunization program reduced the incidence of measles by 99%.

Was there ever an outbreak before the current one that started in California?

Yes – From 1989 to 1991, there were 55,000 cases and 130 deaths affecting primarily unvaccinated preschoolers.

Until now, outbreaks were associated with foreign importation and almost all of those affected were unvaccinated or had unknown or undocumented vaccination status.

Does measles kill or have any other consequences?


  • In developing countries, measles affects 30 million children a year and causes 1 million deaths. Most deaths are in children under 5
  • Measles causes 15,000-60,000 cases of blindness per year.

Who can catch measles?

  • Children
  • Adults that are unvaccinated
  • Anyone who has an impaired immune system

How is measles spread?

  • Airborne spread
  • VERY contagious

Who gets the most complications like pneumonia, croup and diarrhea?

  • The youngest children
  • More females die more so in adolescents and young adults

What is the incubation period? How long is it contagious?

  • 7 to 14 days (average, 10-12 days after exposure
  • Patients are contagious from 1-2 days before the onset of symptoms.
  • Healthy children are also contagious during the period from 3-5 days before the appearance of the rash to 4 days after the onset of rash.
  • Immunocompromised individuals can be contagious during the duration of the illness.

What are the symptoms?

  • High fever
  • Fatigue
  • Appetite loss
  • Cough, red eye, stuffy nose

  • Rash- 2-4 days after the onset lasts 3-5 days.
  • Starts on face and neck and spreads down
Morbilliform rash
Morbilliform rash

Is there any treatment for measles?

  • Fluids and comfort medication
  • Vitamin A supplementation

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