The Schwarz strain of measles virus (MV), a live attenuated RNA virus, is one of the safest and most effective human vaccines available. Immunization with MV vaccine expressing heterologous antigen is an attractive strategy to prevent emerging viral diseases. West Nile virus (WNV), which recently emerged in North America, is an important mosquito-borne flavivirus that causes numerous cases of human encephalitis, thus urging the development of a vaccine. To evaluate the efficacy of recombinant MV for the prevention of WNV encephalitis, we constructed a live attenuated Schwarz MV (MVSchw-sE(WNV)) expressing the secreted form of the envelope glycoprotein from the virulent IS-98-ST1 strain of WNV. Inoculation of MV-susceptible mice with MVSchw-sE(WNV) induced both high levels of specific anti-WNV neutralizing antibodies and protection from a lethal challenge with WNV. Passive administration with antisera to MVSchw-sE(WNV) prevented WNV encephalitis in BALB/c mice challenged with a high dose of WNV. The present study is the first to report that a recombinant live attenuated vector based on an approved and widely used MV vaccine can protect against a heterologous, medically important pathogen.