Overview of Measles

Measles, also known as rubeola, is a highly-contagious infection caused by a virus that lives in the nose and throat of infected individuals. It can be transmitted when someone who is infected with the virus coughs or sneezes and someone else breathes in the contaminated air or touches the infected surface, and then makes contact with their eyes, nose, or mouth.

Signs & Symptoms

Signs and symptoms generally start to appear seven to 14 days after becoming infected:

  • Sore throat/coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Inflamed (red, watery) eyes
  • Fever
  • Tiny white spots inside the mouth two-three days after respiratory symptoms begin
  • Red, blotchy skin rash three-five days after respiratory symptoms begin


Measles can be prevented with vaccination. It is recommended that children get their first dose of the vaccination between 12-15 months, and their second dose between four to six years of age. Adults who do not have immunity against measles should get at least one dose of the vaccine, often referred to as the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.

How We Can Help

  • If you think you have measles, contact your provider or advice nurse by phone before visiting your healthcare facility.
  • Our Advice Nurse service is available at no charge for all UC Davis students to discuss health concerns and the need for medical care.