Measles Prevention

  • What is the measles?
    Measles is a highly contagious disease that is caused by a virus that lives in the nose and throat. Measles can lead to serious illnesses, hospitalization, and even death.

     Serious illnesses include:

    • Diarrhea
    • Ear Infection
    • Brain Damage       
    • Hearing loss
    • Blindness
    Pregnant women, infants, young children, and persons with a weakened immune system are at the most risk for serious illnesses. There is no treatment for measles.
  • How is measles spread?
    Measles spreads easily through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. About 9 out of 10 people who have not had the measles vaccine will get measles if they are exposed to the virus. You can get measles if you share the same air with a person with measles, even up to two hours after the person has left the area. Measles can also spread before the infected person has symptoms.
  • What are the symptoms of the measles?

    The symptoms of measles include:

    • Fever  (101°F or higher)
    • Cough
    • Runny nose
    • Red watery eyes
    • Rash of red spots. Some are slightly raised. Typically starts on the face or hairline and spreads to the rest of the body.


  • What should I do if I think I have the measles?

    Immediately contact your health care provider to inform them of your symptoms so they can provide you with information about next steps. Unless instructed to do so by the local Florida Health Department or your physician, do not visit the emergency department.

    FIU students can contact FIU Student Health Services at (305) 348-2401 ext. 2.  FIU faculty and staff can contact FIU Health at (305) 348- DOCS (3627) for assistance. 

  • What should I do if I have the measles?

    Consult with your physician.  If you have measles, you should stay home for four days after you develop the rash. Staying home is an important way to not spread measles to other people. Ask your doctor when it is safe to be around other people again.

    You should also:

    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put your used tissue in the trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
    •  Wash your hands often with soap and water.
    • Avoid sharing drinks or eating utensils.
    • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, doorknobs, tables, and counters. Standard household disinfectants will readily kill the measles virus.
    • Call your doctor if you are concerned about your symptoms.
  • Can the measles be prevented?

    Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent getting or exposing others to measles. The measles vaccine, known as the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, is safe and effective.  Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective.

    People should get the MMR vaccine if they haven't been vaccinated or don't know if they got the vaccine before. If you aren't sure if you've been vaccinated, you should try to find your vaccine records.

    If you're unable to find your records and are unsure whether or not you've been fully vaccinated, you should discuss your risk factors with your physician. The MMR vaccine is safe, and there is no harm in getting another dose even if you may be already immune to measles, mumps or rubella.

    Children should be vaccinated at 12-15 months of age and again at 4-6 years of age.

    Individuals at high risk for measles are persons attending college or other post-high school educational institutions, persons with young children or who work in child care facilities, persons working in health care facilities and international travelers.

  • Is there anything I can do to prepare for a possible outbreak?
    The CDC recommends that all individuals who are medically able to get the MMR vaccine get vaccinated. By being vaccinated, you do not only protect yourself, but you also help to provide protection for those individuals who are not medically-able to receive the vaccine.  For more information about measles prevention please visit the CDC website


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Modesto A. Maidique Campus
Student Health Center (SHC)
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199


Medical Records:

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Biscayne Bay Campus
Health Center Complex (HCC)
3000 NE 151 Street
North Miami, FL 33181


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