Measles: The Facts

Measles is a virus that causes a rash,  runny nose, eye inflammation,  and fever.   Small white spots called “Koplik’s Spots” can form in the mouth.

Measles is transmitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  If an individual is not fully immunized, there is a 90% chance they will catch measles if they are exposed.

Measles was considered “eliminated” from the United States.  However there is now a resurgence due to decreased vaccinations.

Complications of measles include ear infections (otitis media), diarrhea, pneumonia, seizures, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis), hearing loss,  and death.  In 1980, 2.6 million people died of measles.

One dose of the measles vaccination is 93% effective, and two doses are 97% effective.


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