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CDC: Fast Facts About the Measles

— Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is spread by contact with an infected person, through coughing and sneezing.

— The virus normally grows in the cells that line the back of the throat and the cells that line the lungs.

— The incubation period for measles ranges from 7 to 18 days.

— Symptoms can include rash, high fever, coughing, and runny nose. The disease can also cause more serious complications, such as ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) — even death.

— Worldwide, 20 million cases of measles still occur each year, and the disease is a significant cause of vaccine-preventable death among children.

— In 2005, 311,000 children under age 5 died from the disease.

— Six to 20 percent of the people who get the disease will get an ear infection, diarrhea, or even pneumonia.

— One out of 1,000 people with measles will develop inflammation of the brain, and about one out of 1, 000 will die.

— Measles vaccine can prevent this disease.

Click here to learn more about the MMR vaccine from the CDC.