Most adults in the U.S. at low risk for measles


CONTACT: Karen Landers, M.D., F.A.A.P.
(256) 246-1714
CONTACT: Burnestine Taylor, M.D.
(334) 206-5325

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) continues working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate potential cases of measles in the state. There are more than 30 open investigations and currently only one presumptive positive measles case in Alabama.

This presumptive positive case is in an infant residing in St. Clair County. The child has not been in daycare and has not traveled out of state. The investigation is ongoing and additional testing is being done.

Clarification received from the CDC today provides recommendations for adult vaccine as follows: One dose of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) or other presumptive immunity is sufficient protection for most U.S. adults born on or after 1957. Other presumptive evidence of measles immunity includes:

  • Birth before 1957
  • Laboratory evidence of immunity
  • Laboratory confirmation of disease

Certain adults are considered at high risk and need two doses of MMR, each dose separated by at least 28 days, unless they have other presumptive evidence of measles immunity, as listed above. These adults include:

  • Students at post-high school educational institutions
  • Healthcare personnel
  • International travelers

CDC clarification of vaccine recommendations:

  • There is no recommendation for an adult catch-up program for persons born before 1989.
  • There is no recommendation for vaccination campaigns among adults or individuals in non-affected areas to prevent measles outbreaks.

At this time, the ADPH continues to recommend that infants and children be vaccinated at 12 months and 4 years of age. From the time a person is exposed to measles, it can take 7-21 days for signs and symptoms to occur, with an average of 10-14 days. People are contagious from four days before the rash develops until four days afterward.

A consumer hotline has been established for calls during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. excluding holidays. Please call (334) 206-5023. In addition, for up-to-date answers to your questions about measles, visit CDC’s Measles FAQ webpage.


County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Contact your local county health department for additional information.

Mission: To promote, protect, and improve Alabama’s health

Vision: Healthy People. Healthy Communities. Healthy Alabama.