Measles News

Measles -- or, rubeola, in medical terms -- is a highly contagious infection best known for its total-body, reddish rash. It's often thought of as a childhood disease, but people of any age can get it. Those with measles usually develop a fever and respiratory infection in addition to the rash, but the disease can be dangerous and even life-threatening in some instances.

Vaccinations all but eradicated measles from the United States by 2000. Just 55 cases were reported in the nationwide in 2012, for instance. But in 2013, at least 189 people contracted measles. The disease is still prevalent in other parts of the world, and nearly a third of the U.S. cases were contracted while traveling abroad and then spread to others once back in the country.

Symptoms and Complications

A measles virus typically grows in the cells that line the lungs and the back of the throat. Common symptoms are a runny nose, cough, fever and a blotchy-looking rash from head to toe. For some, the infection eventually leads to an ear infection or pneumonia. It can also cause encephalitis and death in rare instances. In pregnant women, measles can lead to a miscarriage or premature birth.

Prevention and Treatment of Measles

In decades past, 3 to 4 million Americans got measles each year, and 400 to 500 would die. However, regular vaccinations -- mainly the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) -- changed that scenario.

Measles is highly contagious, with the virus spreading easily through the air from one person to the next when someone with measles coughs, sneezes or simply exhales. Anyone who's near a person with measles has a good chance of catching it if not already immune.

Vaccination remains the best way to ensure immunity and prevent measles. People who are up to date on measles vaccines should be adequately protected against the illness when traveling in areas where it persists. However, infants and young children, in particular, may not have had adequate vaccines, so it’s best to check with a doctor before traveling internationally.

SOURCES: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Nemours Foundation

Date Posted
Article Title
7/30/2018
10/12/2017
Vaccination Rates Very High for U.S. Kindergartners

More than 90 percent of new students have been immunized against major childhood diseases

10/3/2017
Measles Making a Comeback in the United States

Though the rate remains low, study shows it doubled between 2001 and 2015

9/8/2017
Vaccine Campaign in Poor Countries to Save 20 Million Lives

Program will also save $350 billion in health care costs by 2020, study says

8/18/2017
Anti-Vaccine Family Members, Friends Spur Many Moms to Delay Baby's Shots

Study found even if pregnant women later hear better info from docs, they may still wait on immunizations

7/24/2017
Just a Few Vaccine Refusers Could Endanger Many

A 5 percent drop in coverage could trigger a tripling of measles cases in young kids, study finds

7/20/2017
Travelers to Europe Need Measles Protection: CDC

15 countries have reported outbreaks so far this year

5/15/2017
Many U.S. Travelers Skip Measles Shots, Despite Infection Risk

Though the disease was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, foreign travel can still bring it home today

4/27/2017
Are Kids' Vaccines a Victim of Their Own Success?

The shots have cut disease rates so low that some parents underestimate the threat, doctors say

2/2/2017
Most U.S. Adults Support Routine Child Vaccine

Survey finds 80 percent have positive view of the shot against measles, mumps and rubella

12/21/2016
Mumps Cases Hit 10-Year High in U.S.

Contagious virus, which can cause complications, can be prevented by vaccine, specialist says

10/28/2016
Deadly Measles Complication May Be More Common Than Believed

One more reason to get your child vaccinated against the disease, infection experts say

10/5/2016
Measles Outbreak Among Amish Highlights Need for Vaccinations

Nearly all who were infected had not been vaccinated, researchers say

3/15/2016
Vaccine Refusal a Driving Force Behind Measles Outbreaks, Study Finds

As trend continues, researcher fears more outbreaks of whooping cough, too

2/8/2016
Measles Outbreak May Have Swayed Some Parents on Vaccines

Moms and dads who were well-informed on Disneyland cases were more confident about shots in survey

1/3/2016
New Rules for Mammograms, Tanning Beds Top Health News of 2015

Female libido pill, measles outbreaks and vaccine controversy also made headlines

10/9/2015
Many Americans Traveling Abroad Lack Key Vaccinations: Study

Outbreaks of measles, hepatitis A could be prevented if people were fully immunized, researchers say

10/8/2015
1 in 8 U.S. Kids Not Protected Against Measles: Report

Researchers point to lower vaccination rates in explaining the troubling trend

8/27/2015
Despite Pockets of Resistance, Most U.S. Kids Getting Vaccinated

Health officials call the finding heartening, but worry about lingering opposition to inoculations

7/7/2015
More Parents See Benefits of Vaccines, Poll Finds

Reports on outbreaks of measles, whooping cough in past year may have shifted opinions, pediatrician says

6/12/2015
Doctors Worry About Return of Vaccine-Preventable Ills in Kids

When immunization rates go down, 'herd' immunity also declines, experts note

6/3/2015
Anti-Vaccine Parents Cluster in Rich, White Areas

California research also shows high rates of medical exemptions in the same schools

5/7/2015
Measles May Weaken Immune System for Up to 3 Years, Study Contends

Findings highlight importance of measles vaccine for preventing damaging infection, doctors say

4/28/2015
Microneedle Patch Might Boost Global Measles Vaccination Rates

It's designed to be easier to use, safer, more portable than syringes, researchers report

4/17/2015
California Declares Measles Outbreak Over

But, health officials say risk still exists for those who aren't vaccinated against the disease

4/16/2015
Calif. Measles Outbreak May Be Coming to a Close

Officials say they will declare end if no new cases reported by Friday

4/15/2015
Inhaled Measles Vaccine Falls Short of Injected Version in Study

Although easier to administer, it didn't trigger as strong an immune response in infants as shot did

3/16/2015
Low Vaccination Rates Likely Behind Disney Measles Outbreak: Study

Disease may continue to spread unless more people get shots to protect against infection, experts warn

3/12/2015
Ebola Outbreak Disrupted Routine Medical Care in West Africa

Many childhood vaccinations missed, putting hundreds of thousands at risk for measles, other diseases, study says

3/12/2015
More Americans Support Vaccines: HealthDay/Harris Poll

Measles outbreak likely driving the trend, experts say, but critics of the shots remain

2/24/2015
California Reports No New Measles Cases Since Last Update

But it's too soon to declare the outbreak over, health officials say

2/23/2015
Measles Cases Pass 150 Mark, CDC Says

Health officials urge parents to get their children vaccinated against the disease

2/20/2015
Measles Can Rob a Child's Sight, Doctors Warn

Severe complications might damage cornea, retina or optic nerve

2/17/2015
Measles Cases Continue to Rise Across the United States

Latest CDC tally has 141 people sickened in 17 states and the District of Columbia

2/10/2015
Is Measles' Return the 'New Normal'?

Pediatricians and parents struggle with keeping children safe amid concerns over vaccine

2/9/2015
Latest Measles Count: 121 Cases in 17 States and D.C.

85 percent of infections tied to outbreak that began at Disney theme parks in California, officials say

2/6/2015
5 Babies at Illinois Day Center Diagnosed With Measles

Health officials don't know if infections are related to outbreak tied to Disney theme parks in California

2/2/2015
U.S. Measles Cases Now Exceed 100: CDC

Outbreak still traced to Disney theme parks in California, officials say

1/30/2015
More Measles Cases Seen in January Than in Typical Year: CDC

Spread driven largely by outbreak that started at Disney theme parks in California in December

1/29/2015
Arizona Officials Say Nearly 1,000 People May Have Been Exposed to Measles

Latest infection tally on outbreak that originated in California now stands at 95

1/28/2015
U.S. Measles Outbreak Now Numbers 87 Cases

Officials say most patients hadn't been vaccinated against the disease

1/26/2015
78 People Now Infected in U.S. Measles Outbreak

Most patients hadn't been vaccinated against the disease, officials say

1/22/2015
California Measles Outbreak Shows How Quickly Disease Can Resurface in U.S.

More parents refusing to have their kids vaccinated against highly contagious illness, experts note

1/7/2015
Long-Term Study Finds Measles Vaccines Safe

Research included more than a half-million vaccine doses in 1- or 2-year-olds

12/18/2014
Most States Not Ready to Handle Infectious Disease Outbreaks: Report

Ebola, mumps, other illnesses suggest public health systems need strengthening, researchers say

12/18/2014
Arriving Now at Gate 42: Measles

CDC report of transmission in U.S. air terminal shows how easily the virus can spread

12/16/2014
'Kids' Diseases' Now Hitting Adults

Doctors explain reasons behind surge in cases of chicken pox, mumps, whooping cough and the like

6/9/2014
Combo Vaccine Raises Risk of Fever-Related Seizures in Toddlers: Study

Safer to give MMR and chickenpox shots separately for first dose, researchers say

6/9/2014
Measles Journey Highlights Risk to Unvaccinated Kids

Minnesota outbreak began with a toddler traveling overseas, study says

5/29/2014
U.S. Measles Cases at 20-Year High

Almost all infections involve unvaccinated residents who traveled abroad, CDC says