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It’s not just a little rash

Measles is a viral disease that spreads easily from person to person. It can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children.

  • One in four people with measles will need to go to the hospital.
  • One in three will have problems such as ear infection, lung infection and in rare cases, swelling of the brain.
  • For every 1,000 children with measles, 1-2 will die from it.


  • Fever
  • Cough and runny nose
  • Red eyes
  • A red rash that starts on the head and face and spreads to the rest of the body

Symptoms usually start within 1-2 weeks. In rare cases, it can take up to 4 weeks for symptoms to start.

You can spread measles before you get sick

infographic, girl with measles

Measles spreads when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread by direct contact with nose or throat mucus (snot) of someone with measles.

People can spread measles for 4 days before the rash appears and up to 4 days after.

I've you've never had a measles vaccine or been sick with measles, you have a 90% chance of catching it if you go near someone who has it.

If you think your child has measles

Measles is highly contagious. Call your clinic or urgent care first before you go to avoid spreading the virus to others.

You’re protected from measles if:

  • You’re under 4 years old and have had one dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine
  • You’re 4 or older and have had 2 measles vaccines
  • You were born before 1957
  • You have a blood test that shows you are protected from measles

Protect your child

  • The first dose of measles vaccine should be given at 12-15 months of age
  • The second dose at age 4-6

Where to find measles vaccine

The vaccine is very safe

  • Minor side effects might happen and include pain at the site, fever, a mild rash and minor swelling.
  • Severe side effects and allergies are very rare.
  • There is no mercury in childhood vaccines.
  • More vaccine information»

More Information

Measles brochure - English (315.04 KB)
Measles brochure - Chinese (390.22 KB)
Measles brochure - Russian (282.49 KB)
Measles brochure - Somali (314.67 KB)
Measles brochure - Spanish (299.93 KB)
Measles brochure - Vietnamese (318.1 KB)