The Travel Health and Vaccine Specialists

Health Alert


Measles in Italy

Updated November 14, 2017

What is the current situation?

Health officials in Italy have reported an outbreak of measles.

Measles is a disease caused by a virus that is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. Measles virus is highly contagious and can remain so for up to 2 hours in the air or on surfaces. Symptoms of measles are rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes.

CDC recommends that travelers to Italy protect themselves by making sure they are vaccinated against measles. Getting measles vaccine is particularly important for infants 6–11 months of age (1 dose of measles vaccine) and children 1 year of age or older (2 doses of measles vaccine). Clinicians should keep measles in mind when treating patients with fever and rash, especially if the patient has recently traveled internationally.

What can travelers do to protect themselves?

Get measles vaccine or make sure you have already been vaccinated.
Wash your hands often.
Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
Learn more about preventing measles and what to do if you think you have it on the measles page for travelers.

Traveler Information

Measles Webpage for Travelers
CDC Measles Homepage
MMR Vaccine Information Statement
MMRV Vaccine Information Statement
Clinician Information

Measles (Rubeola) in CDC’s Yellow Book
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Recommendations for MMR vaccine and MMRV vaccine
Measles Information for Healthcare Professionals
Page created: April 17, 2017
Page last updated: November 13, 2017
Page last reviewed: November 13, 2017
Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID)
Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ)