Measles is a very contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. The disease can be prevented by vaccination.
Measles is rare in parts of the world where overall vaccination rates are high, but the disease remains common in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa.
In the U.S., measles is generally transmitted by U.S. residents who become infected while traveling abroad and spread the infection to unvaccinated or unprotected people when they return, or by infected visitors from other countries.
Outbreaks can grow and spread quickly when people who are unvaccinated and unprotected visit the same places as infected people, such as neighborhoods, schools, stores, hospitals or workplaces. Reported measles cases increased in the United States and California during 2019, and many of these cases are due to outbreaks.
It is important for everyone to take steps to protect themselves, their families and their community.
Measles Prevention Tips
- The best tool for prevention of measles disease is vaccination.
- Before traveling internationally make sure you are up-to-date on all measles vaccinations.
- Find out where to get travel vaccinations
- Visiting Another Country? Protect Your Family. Think Measles. English (CDPH) | Spanish (MDH) | Measles Importation Infographic (CDC)
- Measles Update and FAQs - 4/25/2019
- Fact Sheet | Spanish
- Attention: You Could Have Measles Flyer | Spanish (CDPH)
- Measles: It isn't Just a Little Rash (CDC)
- Measles Importation Infographic (CDC)
- School Immunization Levels in Contra Costa County
Letter to Parents about Measles - January 2015
The best tool for prevention of measles is vaccination. Two shots of MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine are recommended routinely for children. The first shot should be given around a child’s first birthday, between 12-15 months. The second shot should be given to children around 4-6 years old or before school entry.
The best place to get vaccinated is at your regular health care provider or clinic. Other locations are provided in Contra Costa to receive measles vaccine.
- Find out where to get vaccinated
- Measles and the Vaccine (Shot) to Prevent It - Fact Sheet for Parents | Spanish (CDC)
- Traveling Abroad? Protect Your Child from Measles (CDC)
Information about measles vaccines - Vaccine Information Statements (CDC):
- Personal Stories of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (ShotByShot.org)
- Measles Disease Webpage (CDPH)
- Measles Homepage (CDC)
- Public Health Director Stresses the Important of Measles Vaccination (CDPH) – Press Release - Feb 21, 2014
- Measles Still Threatens Health Security (CDC) – Press Release – Dec 5, 2013
- Remember your vacation vaccination! – Healthy Outlook – Aug 1, 2012
- Measles Rising in California (CDPH) – Press Release – May 13, 2011