California measles infections hit 10 year high

According to the California Department of Public Health, the number of Californians contracting measles is higher than any time in the last decade, with 28 reported cases of the disease in 2011.
This is the highest incidence of measles since 2001, when 40 people reported having the measles. There were nine cases in all of 2009 and 27 cases in 2010, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Twenty-two of the 28 infected people were not vaccinated or were very likely to lack the vaccine, with over half the infected having recently traveled internationally, including to Europe, where rates of vaccination have dropped and measles cases have risen.
“We are quite concerned in California as is I believe the rest of the country about increasing cases of measles,” Gil Chavez, the deputy director of the department’s Center for Infectious Diseases, said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Even one single case that is acquired oversees can expose a lot of individuals when they come back home and in the airplane.”
Health officials are concerned about the high incidence that could lead to outbreaks in schools and communities, like a seven-year-old boy in 2008 who had not been vaccinated and triggered an outbreak in San Diego.
The number of non-vaccinated children has grown in the last decade, as parents fear vaccinations could lead to autism, a belief that has been repeatedly disproved in scientific literature. Parents can simply fill out a form to opt out of the vaccine.
Measles can lead to pneumonia, ear infections, diarrhea, brain injuries and death. The vaccine, introduced in 1963, is free or low-cost for those unable to afford it.