Warning – Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel

Alert – Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions

Watch – Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions

What is the current situation?      

Health officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have reported an outbreak of measles.

Measles is 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. Some people may suffer severe complications from measles, including pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and encephalitis (swelling of the brain).

CDC recommends that travelers to the Democratic Republic of the Congo protect themselves by making sure they are vaccinated against measles with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. Before departure from the United States, infants (6 through 11 months of age) should have 1 dose of MMR vaccine, and adults and children over 1 year of age should have 2 doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.

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.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Learn more about preventing measles and what to do if you think you have it on the measles page for travelers. 

Traveler Information 

Clinician Information

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