Thought to be eliminated in the US since 2000, the number of measles cases spiked last year to 222, the highest number in 15 years. Not surprisingly, the majority of those affected did not receive the measles vaccine, said a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among US residents who were affected, 72 percent of those hadn’t been vaccinated. What’s more, 50 patients were children between 16 months old and 19 years old who were not vaccinated for either personal or religious reasons.

According to the report, infection mostly occurs when people contract the disease while traveling abroad, then spread it to those around them when they return. In fact, 90 percent of last year’s cases had their origins in other countries.

“The increase in measles…outbreaks during 2011 serves as a reminder that measles remains endemic in many parts of the world and unvaccinated US residents continue to place themselves and others in their communities at risk for measles and its complications,” the report said.

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