Measles is very contagious. Common symptoms include: fever, rash, runny nose, and red eyes. Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected. Measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000 thanks to a highly effective vaccination program, but every year, measles is brought into the United States by unvaccinated travelers
The best protection against measles is measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles. Your child needs two doses of MMR vaccine for best protection:
The first dose at 12 through 15 months of age
The second dose 4 through 6 years of age
If your family is traveling overseas, the vaccine recommendations are a little different:
If your baby is 6 through 11 months old, he or she should receive 1 dose of MMR vaccine before leaving.
If your child is 12 months of age or older, he or she will need 2 doses of MMR vaccine (separated by at least 28 days) before departure.