Measles can be prevented by the combination MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. In the decade before the measles vaccination program began, an estimated 3–4 million people in the United States were infected each year, of whom 400–500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and another 1,000 developed chronic disability from measles encephalitis. Widespread use of measles vaccine has led to a greater than 99% reduction in measles cases in the United States compared with the pre-vaccine era, and in 2012, only 55 cases of measles were reported in the United States.
However, measles is still common in other countries. The virus is highly contagious and can spread rapidly in areas where vaccination is not widespread. It is estimated that in 2008 there were 164,000 measles deaths worldwide—that equals about 450 deaths every day or about 18 deaths every hour.
Vaccination recommendations and other useful information about the measles vaccine
- Measles Vaccine Basics
- Beliefs & Concerns
- Vaccine Safety
- Who Should Not be Vaccinated?
- Where to Get MMR Vaccine
Measles references and resources, provider education tools, and materials for patients
- Clinical Information on Measles
- Vaccine Recommendations
- References & Resources
- Provider Education
- Materials for Patients
Estimates of the number of people living in the U.S. who have been received particular vaccines at the national, state, and local levels using results from the National Immunization Survey.