Measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world, including areas in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. Worldwide, about 20 million people get measles each year; about 146,000 die. In the United States, most of the measles cases result from international travel. The disease is brought into the United States by unvaccinated people who get infected in other countries. They spread measles to others, which can cause outbreaks.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting infected when they travel internationally.
Some U.S. travelers have become sick with measles after traveling abroad. Before you leave on an international trip, check the CDC Travel Notices on measles.
Make Sure You’re Protected against Measles before International Travel
Before any international travel—
- Infants 6 months through 11 months of age should receive one dose of MMR vaccine.†
- Children 12 months of age and older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.
- Teenagers and adults who do not have evidence of immunity* against measles should get two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.
† Infants who get one dose of MMR vaccine before their first birthday should get two more doses (one dose at 12 through 15 months of age and another dose at least 28 days later).
* Acceptable presumptive evidence of immunity against measles includes at least one of the following: written documentation of adequate vaccination, laboratory evidence of immunity, laboratory confirmation of measles, or birth in the United States before 1957.
Get Vaccinated and Prevent Measles
Since measles is still common in many countries, unvaccinated travelers bring measles to the U.S. and it can spread. Protect yourself, you family, and your community with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, especially before traveling internationally.
Also available on YouTube
Running Time: 1:00 minute
Date Released: 8/26/2015
Transcript [1 page]
- Measles — United States, January 4–April 2, 2015
The U.S. is experiencing a high number of measles cases this year. People of all ages should be up to date on MMR vaccination and other vaccinations, especially before international travel.
- Measles outbreak — California, December 2014-February 2015
As of February 11, a total of 125 measles cases had been confirmed among U.S. residents in an ongoing measles outbreak linked to two Disney theme parks in Orange County, California.
- Measles — United States, January 1–May 23, 2014
From January 1 to May 23, 2014, a total of 288 measles cases have been reported to CDC.
- Notes from the Field: Measles — California, January 1–April 18, 2014
During January 1–April 18, 2014, the California Department of Public Health received reports of 58 confirmed measles cases, of which 93% were classified as importation-associated.
- Travelers Health: Yellow Book
Measles chapter from CDC’s Health Information for International Travel (the Yellow Book).
- Page last reviewed: November 3, 2014
- Page last updated: August 25, 2015
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