Measles is a Known “Tracer”

Updated November 23, 2022

Measles is a Known “Tracer”

An estimated 128,000 people died from measles worldwide in 2021, mostly children.

A young girl is in a food market, near a toddler in a stroller. Measles virus molecules hover in the scene and surround the girl near her face.

As the most contagious human disease, measles infections and outbreaks can easily spread in under-vaccinated communities, 

The scene expands to show a full outdoor market. The girl with the measles virus is now near a larger group of people, and the virus begins to spread from her to others in the market.

and this makes measles a “tracer” or signal that a community may be at risk for other vaccine-preventable diseases.

The scene expands further in the community and shows other buildings, roads, a school, and a playground behind the school. The people from the previous scene who were infected with measles at the food market are now in other parts of the community and are continuing to spread the virus.

Strong, equitable immunization programs protect communities from preventable death, disease, and disability.

Members of the community are visiting a health clinic. There is a sign in front of the clinic that reads “Love. Trust. Protect. #GetVax.”

Learn how CDC works with partners to protect communities from measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.