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LOS ANGELES ( —  Measles are on the rise in Southern California, according to health officials.

The California Department of Public Health reported 14 measles cases in the state. Los Angeles leads the list with five and Orange and San Bernardino counties have three cases each.

Dr. Joseph Nussbaum, an infectious disease specialist at California Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles, said that the airborne disease characterized by a painful rash, which was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, has returned because of international travelers and the recent anti-vaccination movement.

“To see it coming back is astounding since the prevention works so well,” he said. “Vaccines work, they’re safe, they’re effective, and yet people don’t get their kids vaccinated for their own individual reasons.”

Nussbaum said the movement is based on flawed research and has undermined public health.

“One in 1,000 or so will get pretty sick, needing to be hospitalized, sometimes they’ll develop cerebral…balance disorder,” he said.

KCAL9’s Serene Branson reported that none of the California cases have been fatal, but measles can be deadly, especially for the young or those with compromised immune systems.


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