Page last updated/reviewed March 8, 2019
Measles is a very serious contagious disease that was once common during childhood. It is easily spread through the air (by sneezing or coughing) and by direct contact with someone who is infected. It can cause serious complications and even death. It is the leading cause of death in children worldwide from a vaccine-preventable disease. Before widespread immunization, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year worldwide.
Measles immunization is very effective at protecting children and adults against infection and is the best way to reduce the risk of disease. Any unprotected individuals (persons who have not been immunized or do not have evidence of immunity) can become infected with measles.
Although local cases of measles in Canada do not occur frequently, measles is still common in other parts of the world and unprotected travellers can bring measles into Canada. This could result in local outbreaks, especially where immunization rates are low.
AHS continues to advise all Albertans to ensure they are up to date on their immunizations, including measles vaccine.
Measles-containing vaccine is available, free of charge, through Alberta’s publicly-funded immunization program for:
NOTE: Individuals who have already received two doses of measles-containing vaccine do not need any additional doses of measles-containing vaccine, as these two doses have already provided these individuals with required protection against measles.
The areas identified as being higher risk of measles exposure, to where the travel recommendations would apply, include:
To assist with determining where measles is circulating outside of North America refer to:
The measles situation is being constantly evaluated using multiple criteria, there may be other places experiencing cases of measles that do not fit the criteria for expanded recommendations. If additional sites are identified that do fit the criteria this information will be added to the Travel Advisories.