(NBC News) A new Centers for Disease Control report is raising concerns that travelers visiting Europe could bring home not just memories, but potentially new measles cases.
Health experts say the region is experiencing a spike in measles, up 300% in the first three months of this year compared to the same time frame last year.
The majority are in Ukraine, but high numbers are also reported in France, Greece and Italy. This puts unvaccinated travelers at risk.
“When these international travelers from the United States go abroad, like the European region and come back home, they actually spread the disease to under-immunized or un-immunized folks in the United States also,” CDC infectious disease specialist Dr. Kristina Angelo said.
Cases in the United States are already at their highest levels since 1992.
The majority of cases have occurred in New York City and Rockland County, New York. There was also a smaller outbreak, with 40 confirmed cases, in Oakland County, Michigan. That outbreak was declared over on Wednesday.
The CDC advises travelers get vaccinated at least four weeks before travel. Babies between six and 11 months should receive an early, additional dose.