Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that frequently causes a severe flu-like illness accompanied by a rash. Complications occur in 3 out of 10 people who get measles and young children are the most vulnerable. Common symptoms of measles include ear infections and diarrhea, but may also escalate to pneumonia and/or brain swelling, leading to possible deafness and intellectual disability.
The MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine
To help parents feel confident about vaccinating their children, we have gathered information from the Infectious Diseases Society of America to help explain myths and facts about the MMR vaccine.
Myth: The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine causes autism.
Fact: There is no evidence that the MMR vaccine causes autism, and many studies have found that there is no connection between the two. Other studies support this with evidence that this vaccine does not cause autism.
Myth: The spread of measles can be controlled with proper sanitation.
Fact: While proper sanitation has decreased the rates of diseases like cholera and typhoid, sanitation has a minimal effect on measles, which is spread person to person and through the air.
Myth: The MMR vaccine can be deadly.
Fact: There has been no deaths shown to be related to the vaccine in healthy people. In fact, the measles vaccine prevents thousands of deaths every year worldwide.
Myth: The vaccine causes measles.
Fact: The vaccine does not cause measles. While the vaccine is made from a live virus, it is altered and weakened so that it does not cause the disease. Instead, the vaccine helps your immune system to recognize the virus and develop proper immunity to it.