Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Measles can be serious. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- 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
In 2019, there has been an increase in measles cases in the United States and Illinois. To learn about the current situation in the United States, visit the CDC Measles Cases and Outbreaks web page. For updates on cases in Illinois, visit the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Measles web page.
Measles starts with fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.
If you are experiencing symptoms, please call your healthcare provider. Follow these steps to protect others from infection:
- Avoid going out in public.
- Call your healthcare provider right away, before you walk in to a medical office or emergency department. Your provider can make special arrangements for your evaluation so that you don’t expose others.
Measles can be prevented with MMR vaccine. The vaccine protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella.
Prevent measles and talk to your doctor about the MMR vaccine, especially if planning to travel. Find a retail location that offers the MMR vaccine using the Vaccine Finder website.
For appointments at the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center, call the Patient Access Center at (847) 377-8800.
Learn about the MMR vaccine on the CDC website.
- Measles Information - American Academy of Pediatrics
- Measles in Illinois - Illinois Department of Public Health
- Preventing Measles - CDC
- Clear Answers and Smart Advice About Your Baby’s Shots - Immunization Action Coalition
- A Look at Each Vaccine - Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
- Webinar - Measles Resurgence: What You Should Know
- Sample Pediatric Parent Letter from Providers - English (Word Document)
- Sample Pediatric Parent Letter from Providers - Spanish (Español) (Word Document)
- Measles Outbreak Toolkit - CDC
- Vaccine Conversations with Parents - CDC
- Measles Resources - Immunization Action Coalition
- MMR Vaccine Does Not Cause Autism - Immunization Action Coalition