For more general information and patient materials, see our Measles page.
Measles, also called rubeola, is a viral illness characterized by a prodrome of fever, cough, coryza and conjunctivitis ("the 3 Cs") followed by the development of maculopapular rash. It generally causes a severe illness for which people seek medical care.
Many healthcare providers in the United States have never seen measles, so it may be difficult to recognize. Be alert for measles in patients who present with a fever and rash. Especially those who traveled outside the country or to an area where an outbreak is occurring.
Measles can be imported into the United States by unvaccinated travelers—and this can cause outbreaks.
Immediately report suspected or confirmed cases of measles.
If you suspect measles, immediately call the public health authority in the patient’s county of residence.
You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (253) 798-6410.
Immediately isolate patients with suspected measles. Prevent exposure to other patients.
- Tell reception, phone and triage staff to identify patients with symptoms of possible measles.
- Tell the patient to enter through a back door wearing a mask. Or see the patient outside away from others.
- Immediately room the patient and close the door. Do not use the room until 2 hours after the patient leaves.
- Ensure all staff who will contact the patient have documented immunity to measles.
Resources for providers
Strongly recommend and offer vaccines. It's the #1 reason patients accept vaccines for themselves and their children.