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Providers: Immediately report any suspect measles cases at the time it is first suspected and prior to clinical testing, and take appropriate steps for diagnosis, infection control and isolation. Disease reporting procedures​

Find resources for healthcare providers and schools at the bottom of the page. 

Measles is very contagious and can be serious. Unvaccinated adults and children can get measles when traveling abroad or even in the U.S. Two doses of MMR vaccine provide the best protection against measles.

Important facts about measles:

1. Measles can be serious.

Some people think of measles as just a little rash and fever that clears up in a few days, but measles can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than 5 years of age. There is no way to tell in advance the severity of the symptoms one​ will experience.

About 1 in 5 people in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized.
1 out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling, which could lead to brain damage.
1 to 3 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care.

Some of the more common measles symptoms​ include:

  • high fever (may spike to more than 104° F)
  • cough
  • runny nose (coryza)
  • red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • rash (3-5 days after symptoms begin)

2. Measles is very contagious.

Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 9 out of 10 people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected. You can get measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, even up to two hours after that person has left. An infected person can spread measles to others even before knowing he/she has the disease - from four days before developing the measles rash through four days afterward.​

3. You can still get measles in the United States.

Measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000 thanks to a highly effective vaccination program. Eliminated means that the disease is no longer constantly present in this country. However, measles is still common in many parts of the world.

Even if your family does not travel internationally, you could come into contact with measles anywhere in your community. Every year, measles is brought into the United States by unvaccinated travelers (mostly Americans and sometimes foreign visitors) who get measles while they are in other countries. Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk.

Plan for travel

​4. You have the power to protect yourself and your children against measles with a safe and effective vaccine.

The best protection against measles is measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles.

Your child needs two doses of MMR vaccine for best protection:
  • The first dose at 12 through 15 months of age
  • The second dose at 4 through 6 years of age

If your family is traveling overseas, the vaccine recommendations are a little different:
  • If your baby is 6 through 11 months old, he or she should receive 1 dose of MMR vaccine before leaving.
  • Anyone who is 12 months of age or older, he or she will need 2 doses of MMR vaccine (separated by at least 28 days) before departure.

Another vaccine, the measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccine, which protects against 4 diseases, is also available to children 12 months through 12 years of age.​

Vaccines for measles
Who Should, and Who Should Not Get MMR Vaccination​

2024 CDC and IDPH Measles Health Alerts 

4/8/24 Illinois Measles Outbreak: School Action Request & IDPH School Vaccination Dashboard 
3/26/24 IDPH Health Advisory Update
3/22/24 IDPH Measles Clinical Practice Advisory for Perinatal Providers
3/20/24 IDPH Measles Update for Clinicians: Recognition, Reporting and Response Webinar Recording​
3/19/24 IDPH Health Advisory to Long Term Care Facilities Regarding Measles
3/18/24 Kane County Health Department Monitoring Measles Outbreak in Cook County
3/18/24 CDC Health Alert - Increase in Global and Domestic Measles Cases and Outbreaks: Ensure Children in the United States and Those Traveling Internationally 6 Months and Older are Current on MMR Vaccination
3/15/24 IDPH Measles Health Alert Flyer for Health Care Facilities​​
3/11/24 IDPH Measles guidance for EMS​
3/8/24 Chicago Department of Public Health press release on recent measles cases 
3/8/24 IDPH Health Advisory on Measles with guidance for healthcare providers
3/8/24 IDPH Measles guidance for schools and early childhood education facilities

Measles Printables

Measles Public Information Flyer English/Spanish​​
Healthcare Door Sign English/Spanish
KCHD Measles Fact Sheet English/Spanish​


CDC: Measles Cases & Outbreaks
CDC: Measles
CDC: Questions about Measles
CDC: Measles for Healthcare Providers​
IDPH: Illiniois Measles Case Count and Measles Facts​​

Communicable Disease Main Page