Plan for Travel

Most measles cases in the U.S. result from international travel. Make sure you and your loved ones are protected against measles before international travel.

family traveling

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 MMR vaccine. The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine protects against all 3 diseases. Two doses of MMR vaccine provide 97% protection against measles; one dose provides 93% protection.

Infants under 12 months old
  • Get an early dose at 6-11 months
  • Follow the recommended schedule and get another dose at 12-15 months and a final dose at 4-6 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 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.

medical icon

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

Measles is still common in other countries

Measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world. Each year around the world, an estimated 10 million people get measles, and about 110,000 of them die from it.

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. 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 U.S., and it can spread. Protect yourself, you family, and your community with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, especially before traveling internationally.

Travel Notices
  • Israel
    Travel Notice: Watch (Level 1)
  • Brazil
    Travel Notice: Watch (Level 1)
  • Ukraine
    Travel Notice: Watch (Level 1)
  • Philippines
    Travel Notice: Watch (Level 1)
  • Japan
    Travel Notice: Watch (Level 1)

After international travel: Watch for measles

Measles is highly contagious and can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. 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. An infected person can spread measles to others 4 days before the rash even develops.

Watch your health for 3 weeks after you return. Measles symptoms typically include:

  • high fever (may spike to more than 104° F)
  • cough
  • runny nose (coryza)
  • red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • rash (3-5 days after symptoms begin)

If you or your child gets sick with a rash and fever, call your doctor. Be sure to tell your doctor that you traveled abroad, and whether you have received MMR vaccine.

Related page: Signs and Symptoms