What is Measles?

Measles is a viral disease, which is highly infectious. It most commonly begins with a fever and blotchy red rash. The rash usually begins on the face and behind the ears, then spreads over the whole body. In 1 to 15 cases complications can occur as a result of the disease. Complications include ear infections, diarrhoea, febrile convulsions, and pneumonia, which lead to death in around 2 out of every 1000 cases. It is spread from person to person via infected droplets in the air.

Who is at risk of Measles?

Any person travelling to an endemic area of the world is at risk of the disease if they have not been vaccinated. Measles is found all over the world including Europe and Asia. In 2015 a USA outbreak began in the California Disney Park and resulted in 17 states being infected.

How can I prevent Measles?

Herd immunity will only exist in a country when uptake for the vaccine is above 95%. In the UK administering the MMR triple vaccine containing Measles Mumps and Rubella is part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule.

For those travelling to high-risk situations within the developing world, vaccination with the triple vaccine (MMR) is recommended.

NON-UK VISITORS TO THIS SITE: Please note that the recommendations outside of the UK can differ and local advice should be sought.


Note: This information is designed to complement and not replace the relationship that exists with your existing family doctor or travel health professional.  Please discuss your travel health requirements with your regular family doctor or practice nurse.