Measles is back. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 764 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 23 states across the U.S from January 1 to May 3, 2019. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994. There have been 44 cases reported in CA as of May 8, 2019.

Currently no cases have been reported in Inyo County for 2019. Nevertheless, Inyo County Health Officer, Dr. James Richardson, recommends that you take action to avoid this preventable disease by ensuring that you and your children have received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Measles is a highly contagious, viral disease that is spread through the air when a person sick with the disease coughs or sneezes. Symptoms begin with fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. These symptoms are followed by a rash that usually appears on the head and spreads to the rest of the body.

Measles is a vaccine preventable disease.

In children today:

CDC guidelines- Two doses of MMR vaccine are recommended for immunity to measles. The first dose of MMR vaccine is recommended at twelve to fifteen months of age. The second dose of MMR is then recommended at four to six years of age. Consult with your doctor about early MMR vaccination before traveling internationally with your infant.


Adults today:

CDC guidelines- If you were born after 1957 you need at least one dose of measles vaccine unless a laboratory confirmed that you had past measles infection or are immune to measles. Certain adults may need 2 doses. Adults who are going to be in a setting that poses a high risk for measles transmission should make sure they have had two doses separated by at least 28 days. These adults include:

  • students at post-high school education institutions
  • healthcare personnel
  • international travelers
  • people who public health authorities determine are at increased risk for getting measles during a measles outbreak

If you are not sure whether you are up to date on measles vaccine, talk with your doctor.

Do I need a booster?

CDC guidelines- No, as long as you have had two MMR vaccinations. If you have only had one MMR consult with your doctor about your level of risk. If your risk is low, you do not need a booster.

Seek medical attention if you believe you or a family member has measles. You must contact your medical provider before arrival to their clinic so they can prepare you a mask and a parking lot assessment if possible.