SANANTONIO -- A dangerous disease that was virtually wiped out in this country is showing up again. Cases of measles are on the rise. Infectious disease specialists want parents to get their children vaccinated.

Most cases have been contracted outside the country and brought back. The problem is many children aren t getting the vaccination, so one case of measles can create a cluster.

The measles virus is highly contagious. The infectious respiratory disease is once again rearing its ugly head in America.

UT Medicine infectious disease specialist Dr. Jason Bowling said it s a worrisome trend.

Last year, we had the highest amount of measles in the United States that we d seen in the last 15 years, Bowling explained. So we went from having no measles cases in the United States to having a record high in the past 15 years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2011 there were 17 outbreaks and 222 cases of measles reported.

Most of the people who caught the disease were unvaccinated children and adults who picked it up while traveling. The problem is, once at home, they spread the illness to other unvaccinated people.

One of the concerns if they think a large group of people are not getting vaccines because they don t think that the diseases are really a problem anymore, Bowling added. So in a way, we re kind of victims of our own success.

San Antonio doesn t have any recent reported cases. But other Texas metropolitan areas like Dallas and Houston reported measles cases last year.

The CDC said vaccination is still the key to eliminating the measles altogether here. The vaccine has been given to millions of people and is considered safe.

There s no reason why in the United States children should be getting the measles, Bowling emphasized.

If you haven t had the measles vaccine, it s not too late, no matter how old you are. Adults can get the shot which might be a good idea, especially if they spend time around children and grandchildren.

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