Measles: Protect Your Family by Getting Vaccinated

Two doses of the measles vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles.

Who should get vaccinated?

  • Children

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children get two doses:

  • The first dose at 12 through 15 months of age
  • The second dose before entering school at 4 through 6 years of age.
  • Adults
  • Adults born during or after 1957 who haven’t had measles or have never been vaccinated should get at least one dose of measles vaccine.
  • College students, international travelers, and health care personnel should get two doses at least 28 days apart.

Where do I go to get vaccinated?

Call your doctor or local health department to get vaccinated. You can also check your local pharmacy to see if they have the vaccine. The Wisconsin Vaccines for Children Program covers the cost of vaccines for eligible children.

How do I know if I'm vaccinated against measles?

Wisconsin residents can check their immunization history by checking with their doctor or going to the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR).

Public spaces where measles can spread

Measles is just a grocery store run, a trip to the movies, or a bus or plane ride away.

An adult sneezed directly at a coworker who tried to prevent it.

The measles virus can easily spread from person to person through the air and stay in the air for up to two hours after a sick person coughs or sneezes!

There have been no measles cases in Wisconsin residents since 2014, but the latest measles outbreak has made national news because 2019 has set a record for having the greatest number of reported cases in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000. More information, including nationwide data can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Woman in striped shirt shrugging in a questioning mannerIt's just measles. So what?

Learn the facts! (Measles Fact Sheet, P-42174)

Measles can cause serious health complications, such as:

  • Pneumonia,
  • Brain damage,
  • Deafness,
  • Even death!

One in four people who get measles in the United States will be hospitalized.

One to two out of 1,000 children in the United States who get measles will die from the disease, even with the best care.

Before the measles vaccination program started in 1963, about 3 to 4 million people got measles each year in the United States. Of those people, 400 to 500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 1,000 developed encephalitis (brain swelling) from measles.

 

Information for parents and patients

Measles is preventable. Call your doctor to make sure you and your family have been immunized against measles.

There have been no measles cases in Wisconsin residents since 2014. However, there are on-going measles cases in neighboring states. More information, including nationwide data can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Measles Disease Information

  • Measles fact sheet, P-42174: What do you need to know about measles? available in English, Spanish, Hmong, and Somali
  • Measles disease overview: A resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that answers frequently asked questions about measles disease
  • Questions about vaccines?: Common questions about vaccines are answered by Vaccinate Your Family: The Next Generation of Every Child by Two (VYF)

Measles Immunization Information

Measles Communication

For health care professionals

Measles is a highly contagious disease. Health care providers should report immediately report a suspected or confirmed case to the patient's local health department. Providers should also work with their infection control to prevent the spread of disease to others.

Measles is a Wisconsin Disease Surveillance Category I disease:

  • Report IMMEDIATELY by TELEPHONE to the patient's local health department upon identification of a confirmed or suspected case. The local health department shall then notify the state epidemiologist immediately of any confirmed or suspected cases. Within 24 hours, submit a case report electronically through the Wisconsin Electronic Surveillance System (WEDSS), by mail or fax using an Acute and Communicable Disease Case Report, F-44151 (Word) or by other means.
  • DHS Communicable Disease Reporting

Wisconsin case reporting and public health follow-up guidelines:

Resources for clinicians

For local health departments

Measles is a highly contagious disease. Local health departments and tribal clinics should work with health care providers in their jurisdictions to take immediate steps if there is a suspected or confirmed case.

Posted 5/24/2019: May 6 2019 General Measles Overview for LHDs webinar.

Measles is a Wisconsin Disease Surveillance Category I disease:

  • Report IMMEDIATELY by TELEPHONE to the patient's local health department upon identification of a confirmed or suspected case. The local health department shall then notify the state epidemiologist immediately of any confirmed or suspected cases. Within 24 hours, submit a case report electronically through the Wisconsin Electronic Surveillance System (WEDSS), by mail or fax using an Acute and Communicable Disease Case Report, F-44151 (Word) or by other means.
  • DHS Communicable Disease Reporting

Wisconsin case reporting and public health follow-up guidelines:

What is a disease investigation? Follow CDC's guidelines and best practices.

Last Revised: May 31, 2019