Updated June 12, 2019
Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable viral infection. In 2019, five cases of measles were identified in Maryland. Currently, there is no evidence of ongoing transmission of measles in Maryland. However, there are ongoing measles outbreaks in many areas outside of Maryland. See the CDC measles website for updated information about measles outbreaks
If you think you or your family member have symptoms of measles, call your doctor before going to the office so staff can take measures to prevent possible spread to other patients. Do not go to child care, school, work, or out in public if you have symptoms of measles. If you think you or a family member might have been exposed to measles, or if you have questions about vaccinations, contact your healthcare provider.
Symptoms of Measles
Early symptoms of measles are high fever; runny nose; cough; and red, watery eyes. Usually, one to four days after the early symptoms, a red rash appears on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.
Some people may suffer from severe complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). They may need to be hospitalized and could die. Measles may cause pregnant woman to give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby.
Transmission of Measles
Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Also, measles virus can live for up to 2 hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. A person with measles is contagious beginning 4 days before the rash appears until 4 days after the rash begins. Measles symptoms typically develop 10-14 days after exposure to the virus.
Prevention of Measles
Measles can be prevented with MMR vaccine. 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.
Cases of Measles in Maryland, as of June 12, 2019:
Information for the Public
Information for Clinicians
MMR ACIP Vaccine Recommendations
MDH Press Releases
Information for Local Health Departments
MDH Immunization Information for Local Health DepartmentsCDC Measles Toolkit for Health Departments