Plan for Travel

Measles cases in the United States originate from unvaccinated international travelers.

If you plan to travel internationally, make sure you and your loved ones are protected against measles before departure, no matter where you are going.

illustration of a passport

Planning a trip outside the U.S.?

Find out if you need measles vaccine

Which travelers are at risk?

You are at risk of measles infection if you have not been fully vaccinated or have not had measles in the past and you travel internationally to areas where measles is spreading.

Before international travel: Make sure you’re protected against measles

The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from measles is by getting vaccinated. You should plan to be fully vaccinated at least 2 weeks before you depart. If your trip is less than 2 weeks away and you’re not protected against measles, you should still get a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The MMR vaccine protects against all 3 diseases.

  • Two doses of MMR vaccine provide 97% protection against measles.
  • One dose provides 93% protection.

Call your doctor, your local health department, or locate a pharmacy or clinic near you to schedule an appointment for a MMR vaccine. CDC does not recommend measles vaccine for infants younger than 6 months of age.

Infants under 12 months old who are traveling
  • Get an early dose at 6 through 11 months
  • Follow the recommended schedule and get another dose at 12 through 15 months and a final dose at 4 through 6 years
Children over 12 months old
  • Get first dose immediately
  • Get second dose 28 days after first dose
Teens and adults with no evidence of immunity*
  • Get first dose immediately
  • Get second dose 28 days after first dose

* Acceptable 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

If you and your children are not traveling internationally, follow CDC’s routinely recommended vaccine schedule.

After international travel: Watch for measles

Watch your health for 3 weeks after you return. Measles is highly contagious and can spread to others through coughing and sneezing.

  • If one person has measles, 9 out of 10 people around that person will also become infected if they are not protected.
  • People who are infected can spread measles to others from 4 days before a rash develops through 4 days after the rash appears.
  • Measles symptoms typically include:
    • High fever (may spike to more than 104° F)
    • Cough
    • Runny nose (coryza)
    • Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis or pink eye)
    • Rash (3-5 days after symptoms begin)

If you or your child gets sick with a rash and fever, call your doctor. Tell them you traveled abroad, and whether you have received MMR vaccine.

What countries are having measles outbreaks?

Measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world, including Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Each year, an estimated 128,000 people die from measles. Many countries and popular travel destinations have experienced measles outbreaks in recent years, including the UK, Israel, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Ukraine, the Philippines, and more.

For additional information on where measles outbreaks are occurring globally, visit: Global Measles Outbreaks (

Before your next trip, check your destination and CDC’s global travel notices.

How do measles outbreaks start in the United States?

In the United States, measles cases originate from international travel. The disease is brought into the United States by unvaccinated people who get infected in other countries. Typically 2 out of 3 of these unvaccinated travelers are Americans. They can spread measles to other people who are not protected against measles, which sometimes leads to outbreaks.

Since measles is still common in many countries, unvaccinated travelers bring measles to the United States, and it can spread. Protect yourself, your family, and your community with the MMR vaccine, especially before traveling internationally.