Santé Montréal


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Measles is a serious and highly contagious disease. Measles is an airborne disease which spreads through droplets from the nose and throat of those infected.

Measles was widespread in North America. It has become rarer because of the effectiveness of immunisation campaigns. Even today, however, Québec sometimes experiences outbreaks of measles.

Measles remains one of the major causes of death among young children globally. Yet there is a safe and effective vaccine against this disease.


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The first symptoms of measles are the following:

  • High fever
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • General discomfort

Subsequently, a rash develops on the face and then the body.

It may take 7 to 14 days between exposure to the measles virus and onset of symptoms. This is called the incubation period. A person begins to be contagious four days before the rash appears and can remain contagious up to 4 days after onset of the disease. Measles last 1 to 2 weeks.

Measles can lead to many complications.

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When to Consult

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Protection and prevention


Vaccination is the best way to be protected against measles.

The measles vaccine is a combined vaccine, meaning that it protects against several diseases at the same time. Components of the vaccine vary depending on the person’s age.

More information

Procedure for getting vaccinated

Under the Québec Immunisation Program, anyone can get vaccinated against measles for free.

See the Québec Immunisation Program page to know the procedure for getting vaccinated.


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Risk factors

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Help and Resources


[Translate to English:] Des questions?

Get Health advice from qualified professionals Info-Santé 8-1-1?

If you’re not sure whether or not you need to go to emergency, call Info-Santé at 8-1-1.

A nurse will answer your questions and refer you to the most appropriate service for your health condition.

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People at Risk

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Dernière mise à jour le : 2019.05.03