For Immediate Release: April 12, 2024

Media Contact::
Ben Truman │ Department of Health
802-316-2117 │ 802-863-7280
[email protected]


Health Department Investigating Measles Exposure

There are no current cases of measles in Vermont
Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease

WATERBURY, VT – The Vermont Department of Health is investigating a measles exposure among 26 people in Vermont who are part of an international program. The 18 teenagers and eight adults were exposed to an unvaccinated person with a confirmed case of measles traveling to the U.S. There are no confirmed cases of measles currently in Vermont.

State health officials are working with the individuals to obtain vaccination records and test for the virus and immunity. At this time, none of them have been diagnosed with measles. The group is quarantining during this process, and the risk of transmission to members of the public is low.

To protect patient confidentiality, the Health Department will not release individual personal health information. The Department will continue to provide important updates, as well as public health recommendations and guidance.

About Measles

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory virus that can cause serious illness. There is no treatment for measles, however, it is almost entirely vaccine preventable.  

Symptoms of measles typically begin with a cough, runny nose, watery eyes, and a high fever that may spike to more than 104°. A rash of flat, red spots breaks out on the head and face, then spreads to other parts of the body.

The virus can spread to other people when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Measles virus can stay in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves an area. People can become infected if they breathe in the germs or touch a contaminated surface and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. A person with measles may not know they are infectious. The virus can be spread from four days before developing the rash through four days afterward.

Measles can be prevented with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. The Health Department is encouraging people to make sure they are up to date on their measles vaccinations — especially before international travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children get their first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and a second dose at age 4 to 6 years. Infants ages 6 to 11 months old should get the MMR vaccination if traveling outside the U.S. Adults are protected from measles if they are fully vaccinated, were born before 1957, or have had a blood test that confirms they are immune. Talk to your health care provider if you are unsure if you are protected against measles.

The last confirmed case of measles in Vermont was in 2018. For the first three months of 2024, the CDC reported more than 100 cases of measles and seven outbreaks in the U.S. This compares to 58 cases and four outbreaks for all of 2023.  Measles has been on the rise globally as well. Health officials attribute this, in part, to an increase in the number of unvaccinated people, which impacts community immunity.

For more information about measles, visit

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