Measles is a respiratory disease that causes a rash and fever. It is highly contagious. Measles can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. The measles virus can live up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch contaminated surfaces, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.