Measles is spread by contact with droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of an infected person. Sneezing and coughing can put contaminated droplets into the air.
If one person has the measles, 90% of the people who come in contact with that person will get the measles, unless they are protected.
People who had measles or who have been vaccinated against measles are protected from the disease. Vaccination works so well that in 2000, measles had been eliminated in the United States. However, unvaccinated people who travel to other countries where measles is common have brought the disease back to the United States. This has led to recent outbreaks of measles in groups of people who are unvaccinated.
Some parents do not let their children get vaccinated. This is because of unfounded fears that the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, can cause autism. Parents and caregivers should know that:
Large studies of thousands of children have found no connection between this or any vaccine and autism.
Reviews by all major health organizations in the United States, Great Britain, and elsewhere all found NO LINK between the MMR vaccine and autism.
The study that had first reported a risk of autism from this vaccine has been proven to be fraudulent.
The most recent measles outbreak started in Disneyland Resort in California. Between January 1 and February 20, 2015, 154 people from 17 states and Washington, DC have been reported to have measles:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New York
- South Dakota