Measles: know the risks, check your status, protect yourself

Updated April 2017

Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. In 1980, before widespread vaccination, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year.

The disease remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. Approximately 134 200 people died from measles in 2015 – mostly children under the age of five.

This fact file on measles has been created for World Immunization Week (24-30 April). This year the theme for the week is #VaccinesWork. The campaign aims at raising awareness about the critical importance of full immunization throughout life and its role in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.


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