What is Measles?

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when someone with measles coughs or sneezes.  Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and a sore throat followed by a rash that spreads throughout the body.

If you don't treat measles, it can lead to serious problems like pneumonia, ear infections, diarrhea, swelling of the brain (called encephalitis), seizures, and even death. These issues happen more often in grown-ups and little kids.

It's important to go to the doctor if you think you or someone you know has measles. To prevent spreading it, get the measles shot and keep it clean. Check your immunization records to make sure you got the vaccine. You can find more information in the Understanding Measles fact sheet (PDF).

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