Transmission of Measles
Español: Transmisión del sarampión
Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. Also, measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.
Infected people can spread measles to others from four days before through four days after the rash appears.
Measles is a disease of humans; measles virus is not spread by any other animal species.
- Measles: Unprotected Story [2 pages]
Parents tell true story of how measles sickened their child and impacted their family.
- Measles chapter of the Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (Pink Book)
Describes measles transmission and other related topics in more depth.
- Page last reviewed: February 5, 2018
- Page last updated: March 3, 2017
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