Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control continues to investigate three cases of measles that were reported in Spartanburg, SC.

The cases are all of children, who were not vaccinated, are younger than school-age and who are not in daycare.

The Center for Disease Control says that three or more linked cases is considered an outbreak.

Anna-Kathryn Burch, MD, who specializes in Pediatric Infectious Disease at the Palmetto Health Children's hospital, says she encourages parents vaccinate their children.

"The number one way to help prevent the spread of measles in a population of children is to have them vaccinated appropriately," says Dr. Burch.

In recent years, the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine was falsely linked to autism, causing parents to become skeptical of the vaccine.

"Scientific journals have proven that the data was false and that the MMR is safe to give to children and that it is not a cause of autism," says Dr. Burch. "Therefore it is something every child should get."

Doctors recommend that children receive the MMR shot at a year old, with a booster shot at the age of four.

Measles, which is a very contagious disease, can be transferred from an infected person through coughing or sneezing.

Symptoms include fever, cough and a runny nose, followed by a rash that could last five or six days.

For more information on measles, check out DHEC website here.