The number of measles cases from the Disneyland outbreak has doubled. At least 85 cases are now confirmed in seven states, the latest in Nebraska. Health officials in Alaska are currently monitoring another potential case in Alaska.
Who is at risk for getting measles?
• Anyone who never had measles and has never been vaccinated
• Babies younger than 12 months old, because they are too young to be vaccinated
• Those who were vaccinated before 1968; early vaccines did not give lasting protection
Measles is a very contagious (easily spread) infection that causes a rash all over your body. It is also called rubeola or red measles.
The measles vaccine protects against the illness. This vaccine is part of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) and MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella [chickenpox]) vaccines. Most children get the vaccine as part of their regular shots. This is why measles is rare in the United States and Canada.
Did You Know?
Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will provide free children’s preventive care services, including checkups, vaccinations and screening tests. Learn more.
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Measles is caused by a virus. It is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or shares food or drinks. The measles virus can travel through the air. This means that you can get measles if you are near someone who has the virus even if that person doesn’t cough or sneeze directly on you.
You can spread the virus to others from 4 days before the rash starts until 4 days after the rash appeared. The virus is most often spread when people first get sick, before they know they have it.
If you have had measles, you can’t get it again. Most people born before 1957 have had measles.