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Measles

While measles is eradicated in the U.S., recent reports of cases around the country and the world remind us about the importance of vaccination. The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine provides the best protection against disease and serious illness. The majority of measles cases are a result of international travel, which is why it’s especially important to ensure you and your family are up to date on all vaccines prior to traveling to another country.

Use the following resources and messages to educate your community or audience/s about measles and the benefits of measles vaccination. The flyers and social media graphics are downloadable and shareable.

How it Spreads

Measles is caused by a very contagious virus – one of the most contagious in the world. It spreads easily through the air when infected persons breathe, talks, coughs, or sneezes. The virus can stay in the air for many hours, even after the infected person has left the area. Someone who is infected can spread the disease to other people before noticing any symptoms, especially in the four days before and after the rash develops.

Measles is a serious disease that could lead to hospitalization, long-term illness, and death. Measles symptoms appear 7 to 14 days after contact with the virus and typically include high fever, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes. Measles rash appears 3 to 5 days after the first symptoms. Call your health care provider right away if you think you or your child have been exposed to measles. Do not arrive at a health care facility without giving advance notice.

Why Vaccinate Against Measles

Vaccination against measles is safe, effective, and cost-effective. Receiving two doses of the MMR vaccine provides the highest level of protection against disease at 97% effectiveness. Even if only one dose is received, protection is still extremely high at 93% effectiveness. The immune system needs up to two to three weeks after immunization to provide the best protection.

Unvaccinated people have a very high likelihood, about 90% risk of contracting measles, if exposed. If infected with measles, some people​ may suffer from severe complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). They may need to be hospitalized and could die. Unvaccinated young children and pregnant persons are at highest risk of severe measles complications.

Who Should Get Vaccinated

  • Young children should get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 to 6 years of age. Children can receive the second dose earlier than 4 years of age if at least 28 days have passed since the first dose.
  • Infants at least 6 months old who are traveling internationally should receive one dose before their 1st birthday and at least two weeks before departing for international travel.
  • All older children (K–12), college-age students and adults who are not up to date on their MMR vaccine.

Resources:

CDPH Material Co-brand Disclaimer 
Local health jurisdictions (LHJs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) may co-brand materials created by CDPH (those in CDPH Office of Communications Toolkits) by adding their agency logo next to or near the CDPH logo. Be sure there is ample space between the two logos. Materials may not be altered or edited in any other way, including removal or adjustment of the CDPH logo.

Flyers

VISITING ANOTHER COUNTRY? PROTECT YOUR FAMILY.THINK MEASLES.  Measles is widespread in Asia, Europe, Africa, and other regions.
Think Measles (PDF)
PUT MEASLES ON THE SPOT. Make sure you and your family are fully vaccinated.
Put Measles on the Spot (PDF)​
​​

Social Media

To use these images, click on each one to enlarge the image, then right click and “save as.” 

​​Keep you and your loved ones safe. Vaccines protect us all.
Measles spreads quickly among unvaccinated people.
About 1 in 5 unvaccinated people in the U.S. who get measles are hospitalized.
Measles is preventable with the MMR Vaccine.

Suggested Messaging:

Measles cases are increasing worldwide. There have been more measles cases in the first half of 2024 than there were in all of 2023. It is one of the most contagious viruses in the world and can lead to severe consequences, especially for children. 

Best way to prevent the measles? The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine! It is safe and provides long-lasting protection against measles. Check if you and your family are up to date on all your routine vaccines, including the MMR. Staying up to date also protects those too young to be vaccinated. 

Find more vaccination information at:cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/family.aspx

X Copy: Measles is one of the most contagious infections and can lead to severe life-long consequences, especially for children. Check if you and your family are up to date on all your vaccines or speak to your health care provider.

 Find more vaccination information at: cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/family.aspx

Protect the youngest among us! Stay up to date on your measles vaccine.
Suggested Messaging:
Measles is an extremely contagious virus that can lead to serious health complications, especially in unvaccinated children. 
DYK:
  • 1 in 5 unvaccinated children who contract measles will be hospitalized.
  • 1 in 20 unvaccinated children who contract measles will develop pneumonia, a very serious lung infection.
  • 1 in 1,000 unvaccinated children who contract measles will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain).
  • 1 in 300 unvaccinated children who contract measles will die.
Protect the youngest among us by making sure you are your family are up to date on your measles vaccine and other routine vaccines.

You have the power to protect your child against measles.

Suggested Messaging:

The increase of measles cases around the country reminds us about the importance of vaccination, which provides the best protection against disease and serious illness.

Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Make sure you and your children are up to date on the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and other recommended vaccines.

Talk to a health care provider and learn more: cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/immunize.aspx

Skip to main content
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL CHECKLIST. Vaccinations, Visas/Passports, Luggage, Travel Guides, Masks

Suggested Messaging:

Traveling internationally? Everyone 6 months and older should get the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine and other recommended vaccines prior to international travel to get the best protection against disease and severe illness. 

Speak to your health care provider and find more vaccination information at: cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/family.aspx

X Copy: Traveling internationally? Make sure you and your family are fully immunized before your international trip. Stay up to date on the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

 Speak to your health care provider and find more vaccination information at: cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/family.aspx

Don't let measles be your souvenir

Suggested Messaging:

Headed on vacation abroad? Check your families’ digital vaccine records or with your health care providers to confirm you and your kids are fully vaccinated against measles, especially before international travel.

For help finding your immunization records, visit cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/Clinics-Records.aspx

Vacation, yes. Measles, no.

Suggested Messaging:

Traveling to a different country for school break?  Make sure you and your children are up to date on the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and other recommended vaccines. Two doses of MMR are 97% effective at preventing measles. 

Call your health care provider to check which vaccines you need before traveling internationally.

For help finding your immunization records, visit cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/Clinics-Records.aspx

Prepare for takeoff with the MMR vaccine.

Suggested Messaging:

Did you know, children 6 months and up should get the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before traveling internationally? 

Infants 6 to 11 months old need 1 dose of MMR vaccine before traveling abroad.  One dose is more than 90% effective at protecting against measles. Talk to your baby’s pediatrician at least one to two months before any international travel.  

Find more vaccination information at: cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/family.aspx

Protect your family from measles

Suggested Messaging:

Stay well on your way! Stay up to date on the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and other recommended vaccines to get the best protection against disease and severe illness.

Talk to a health care provider and learn more: cdc.gov/measles/plan-for-travel.html



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