Health Department


​Measles has been spreading throughout the Pacific region, with outbreaks in Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, the Philippines and New Zealand. Samoa, Tonga and Fiji have all declared states of emergency to tackle their 2019 measles outbreaks. In Samoa, since October nearly 5,000 measles cases have been diagnosed including 70 deaths.

To view this information in Samoan:Measles PSA AHD 2019_Samoan.pdf

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It can be very serious for young children. The best way to protect yourself and your family from measles is by getting vaccinated.

Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 9 out of 10 people around them will also become infected if they are not protected. 

  • Measles starts with a fever.
  • Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose, and red eyes.
  • Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. 
  • It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.
  • The rash can last for a week, and coughing can last for 10 days.
You should plan to be fully vaccinated at least 2 weeks before you depart. If your trip is less than 2 weeks away and you’re not protected against measles, you should still get a dose of MMR vaccine.
  • The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine protects against all 3 diseases.
  • Two doses of MMR vaccine provide 97% protection against measles; one dose provides 93% protection.
Measles can cause serious health complications, such as pneumonia or encephalitis, and even death.

Where to get the measles vaccine?
Call your health care provider or a pharmacy to see if the vaccine is available or visit the Anchorage Health Department at 825 L St., Anchorage. AK 99501. For more information, call 907-343-4799.

​Under 12 months old*
  • Get an early dose at 6-11 months
  • Follow the recommended schedule and get another dose at 12-15 months and a final dose at 4-6 years
Over 12 months old
  • Get 1st dose now
  • Get 2nd dose 28 days after 1st dose
Teens and adults with no evidence of immunity**   
  • Get 1st dose now
  • Get 2nd dose 28 days after 1st dose​
* Measles vaccine is not recommended for children under 6 months old.
** Acceptable presumptive evidence of immunity against measles includes at least one of the following: written documentation of adequate vaccination, laboratory evidence of immunity, laboratory confirmation of measles.

Check with the CDC for any health concerns and vaccine requirements before you go:​

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