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Measles / Rubeola (vaccine-preventable)

Disease Information

Measles is a highly contagious, airborne disease caused by measles virus. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat, and is followed by a blotchy rash that starts on the face or at the hair line and then spreads all over the body. Approximately 30 percent of reported cases have one or more complications including pneumonia, ear infections, or diarrhea. Rarely, the virus causes encephalitis (brain infection). Complications are more common in young children and adults. The best protection against measles is MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. Learn more about the MMR vaccine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

OHA encourages physicians (and others) to maintain a high level of suspicion for measles, especially in people who have not received two doses of measles-containing vaccine. Suspect cases of measles, whether in doctors' offices or hospitals, should be immediately separated from other patients, tested for measles and reported to the local public health authority where they live, without delay, day or night, after identification.

Disease Reporting

What is required?

All cases and outbreaks are reportable to local public health authorities (LPHAs) by individuals, health care providers and clinical laboratories. An individual required to report reportable diseases who is unsure whether a case might really be measles should err on the side of immediate reporting by contacting their LPHA.

Cases are subject to worksite, childcare and school restrictions while in the communicable stage of the disease. When the disease is no longer communicable, restrictions will be removed by the local public health authority.

Health Care Providers and Clinical Laboratories

Health care providers and clinical laboratories are required by law to report cases and suspect cases of measles to local health departments immediately, day or night.

Local Public Health Authorities

Vaccination and Prophylaxis


Once you click on the Tableau link, you will be able to select your disease of interest.

See Also

General Public

Local Public Health Authorities

Providers, Clinical Laboratories and LPHAs

Resources from our Partners

The following are sample resources to support measles prevention and control. The listing of resources and tools below does not constitute an endorsement by OHA.

Schools and Child Care Facilities

Sample Letters

  • Sample letter for parents or guardians regarding measles outbreak in the region
  • Notification for Parents of a Child Who Attends a School with a Measles Case (Version 1)
  • Notification for Parents of a Child Who Attends a School with a Measles Case (Version 2)

Communication Tools