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Measles (Rubeola)

Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. Measles is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family and it is normally passed through direct contact and through the air. The virus infects the respiratory tract , then spreads throughout the body. Measles is a human disease and is not known to occur in animals.

Measles Symptoms

Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth. Measles virus is highly contagious virus and spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. The best way to prevent measles, mumps and rubella is with the (MMR)¬†vaccine.

Franklin County Public Health offers the MMR vaccine at all of our 10 Immunization Clinics.


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Protection: Get Your MMR Vaccine

Measles can be prevented with MMR vaccine. The vaccine protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella. CDC recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Teens and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination.

The MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective.

Children may also get MMRV vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox). This vaccine is only licensed for use in children who are 12 months through 12 years of age.

For vaccine availability, contact your healthcare provider, retail pharmacy clinic, or local health department. Learn more about Franklin County Public Health's Immunization Clinic information.

Ensure Your Children are Up-to-Date on Immunizations

CDC recommends that children get two doses of MMR vaccine:

  • the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and

  • the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age

Teens and adults should also be up to date on MMR vaccinations.

Stay Home When Sick & Talk to Your Doctor

Stay home or keep children home when ill. Seek medical attention for symptoms.

Helpful Links

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention