Surgeon General’s Message on the Current Measles Outbreaks

Dear Partners,

The Nation’s Doctor would like to share a very important message with you about the current measles outbreaks occurring throughout our country.

Measles is a highly-contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body.

Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people around that person will also become infected if they’re not yet vaccinated. You can get measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, even up to two hours after that person has left.  And what is even more worrisome is that an infected person can spread measles to others even before the infected person develops symptoms—from four days before they develop the measles rash through four days afterwards.

The good news is that measles can be prevented with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.

The MMR vaccine has an excellent safety record and is highly effective. It is one of the most effective vaccines we have in our country.

Surgeon General Adams hopes you will share his message with your networks. It’s up to us to protect the health of our communities.

For more information, please visit CDC.gov

Office of the Surgeon General