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Preventing Measles With the MMR Vaccine

Measles can be prevented by use of the MMR vaccine, which also protects against mumps and rubella. A viral infection spread through the air, measles can be extremely serious for young children. However, the MMR vaccine is highly effective in preventing measles as well as very safe.

Measles: Condition & Symptoms

Measles can be spread by:

  • Mother to baby contact; including through pregnancy, delivery, and nursing
  • Airborne contact with germs from coughs or sneezes
  • Contact with an infected person’s skin
  • Contact with a contaminated object or surface
  • Saliva through kissing, sharing drinks, or sharing lip balm / lipstick

Symptoms typically take 10 to 14 days to surface, and may include a runny nose, a cough, inflammation of the eyes, a sore throat, a high fever, and a red rash on the skin. Children with measles may also develop Koplik’s spots in their mouths, which are red spots with blue-white middles. The blotchy, red rash eventually spreads all over the body and is the most recognizable symptom of measles. There is no treatment or cure for measles but you can manage symptoms with over-the-counter treatments. Because of the extremely contagious nature of measles, it is very important to get vaccinated. About 9 in 10 people who are not vaccinated against measles will contract the virus if exposed to an infected individual.

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