Together is a new resource for anyone affected by pediatric cancer - patients and their parents, family members, and friends.Learn More
Measles is a virus that spreads quickly from person to person. Measles can be dangerous for babies, young children, and people with weak immune systems. Many children with cancer, sickle cell disease and other serious disorders have weak immune systems.
About 1 out of 4 people who get measles need hospital care. Measles can be deadly.
Measles is diagnosed by a blood or throat test.
Measles spreads through the air by droplets that contain the virus. It passes easily from person to person. Measles can spread from 4 days before the rash appears until 4 days after it appears.
If you or your child have been near someone with measles, then you have been exposed to the virus.
The MMR vaccine contains live strains of measles, mumps, and rubella. The strains in the vaccine are weaker than the actual virus, and they are harmless to people with normal immune systems. Babies usually get the first MMR dose after their first birthday.
Children with weak immune systems cannot get the MMR vaccine because it contains live virus. When all other family members get the MMR, it helps provide a circle of protection around the patient.
If you have questions about measles or the MMR vaccine, please talk to your child’s doctor or nurse.
Reviewed: September 2022