(NEW YORK) -- Federal health officials say measles cases have reached record highs in the United States. On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report showing that measles cases in the U.S. were up to 288 this year-- even though measles had been declared eliminated in 2000. Almost all of these measles cases are reportedly linked to Americans who traveled overseas, were not vaccinated, and brought the disease back on airplanes.
ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser says it's important for parents to make sure their kids get measles vaccines as recommended by pediatricians.
"It's important to realize that we're not safe here," Dr. Besser said. "Even though we've wiped out what's called endemic or native measles transmission in the United States, we're still at risk, and so all children should be fully vaccinated on time. And that means starting with that first doses between 12 and 15 months, getting the second dose before the child starts school and making sure that those vaccines are given on time."
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