The United States has confirmed 695 measles cases so far this year, the highest incidence recorded since the country declared it had eliminated the virus in 2000, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.

The resurgence of the contagious disease is linked mainly to large outbreaks in Washington state and two in New York that began late last year, the agency said in a statement.

“The longer these outbreaks continue, the greater the chance measles will again get a sustained foothold in the United States,” the agency’s statement warned.

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