(Associated Press) – There have been 17 times as many U.S. measles cases in the first three months of this year compared with the average number seen in the first three months of the previous three years.

That’s according to a government report published Thursday.

The report’s authors say the increase represents a renewed threat to measles elimination in the U.S.

There have been more than 110 cases of the contagious disease so far.

Measles can be dangerous, especially for young children.

Experts say it’s highly preventable because there is a safe and effective vaccine.

But national vaccination rates are below where they should be.