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Measles, also called rubeola or red measles, is a severe illness caused by a virus. It is highly contagious and easily spread.


Measles causes a red, blotchy rash that begins on the face and spreads down the body. Other symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. Measles can also cause brain swelling, blindness, hearing loss, respiratory infection or even death.


Since there is no cure, prevention is paramount. Measles is the leading killer of children whose deaths could have been prevented by vaccines. Two doses of the measles vaccination, usually given during childhood, can protect you for life. Speak with an RN or health-care provider to learn more about measles and other vaccine preventable diseases.

Reporting Measles is a Shared Responsibility

As a nationally reportable disease, the surveillance of measles is conducted by provincial and territorial public health professionals, who report cases to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Nurses and Immunization

RNs are on the front lines of Canada’s immunization programs. We are called upon to give evidence-based, accurate, timely and non-judgmental information so individuals can make informed decisions about their health.


Immunize Canada

CNA is a member of Immunize Canada, a coalition of professional organizations working with the public and private sectors to advocate for coherent immunization policies across Canada.

Public Health Agency of Canada