Main Points

  • Measles is a serious, potentially life-threatening illness that is extremely contagious; 9 out 10 susceptible people exposed will get measles. 
  • The virus spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or shares food or drinks. It also is airborne.
  • Children younger than 5 and adults over 20 tend to be the most vulnerable to complications, including ear infections, diarrhea, lung infections, brain swelling and in rare cases, death.
  • Measles was declared eradicated in the United States in 2000, but has made a comeback staring in 2014.
  • The best protection against measles is vaccination. 
Measles Fact Sheet

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