Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that can be very dangerous, especially for babies and young children. A person will most commonly have a rash and a high fever of 105ºF for 2-4 days. They may also experience a combination of the following symptoms: cough, runny nose, and red watery eyes. People who are higher risk can suffer Measles Complications such as ear infections and diarrhea.

Call your healthcare provider immediately if you think you or your child have been exposed to measles.


Measles lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It is spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. When another person breathes the same air or touches a contaminated surface and then touches their own mouth nose or eyes they may become infected. Measles virus can remain infectious in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves an area.

Prevention & Immunity

Measles can be prevented by the measles vaccine. It is given as the combined measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The vaccine can be used for children aged 12 months through 12 years for protection against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella. 

In situations where you travel internationally with your child, make sure to properly Plan for Travel to prevent Measles in your family.

To prevent Measles from spreading, it is recommended to start Isolation for four days after a rash has developed.


Medical care can help relieve symptoms and prevent bacterial infections. There is no specific treatment for Measles. 

Healthcare providers and health departments should not accept verbal reports of vaccination without written documentation as presumptive evidence of immunity.

Children with severe Measles cases should be treated with vitamin A immediately after being diagnosed and repeated the next day.


Measles Is A Notifiable Condition.

Health care providers in Chelan and Douglas counties, Immediately contact the Chelan-Douglas Health District at 509-886-6400 if you have a suspect case. We will guide you through the testing and shipping process.

Legal Reporting Requirements

  • Health care providers and Health care facilities: immediately notifiable to local health jurisdiction
  • Laboratories: immediately notifiable to local health jurisdiction; submission required – isolate and specimen associated with positive culture or with positive NAT or NAAT result, within 2 business days; submission on request – specimen associated with positive IgM or other specimen, within 2 business days  
  • Local health jurisdictions: immediately notifiable to Washington State Department of Health (DOH) Communicable Disease Epidemiology (CDE).

Purpose Of Reporting And Surveillance

  • To identify measles cases
  • To prevent the spread of measles
  • To identify groups of unimmunized children and adults

Additional Resources

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