Number of measles cases climbing in Calif.

ORANGE COUNTY, California (ABC News) - A renewed warning if you are planning a visit to southern California, make sure your kids' immunizations for measles are up to date. That's because the number of cases are climbing. The disease is highly contagious and can be deadly.

The outbreak could be due -- in part -- to a choice by parents.

Steve and Victoria Carrico are part of a small but growing minority parents who choose not to vaccinate their children, calling it a "personal choice."

“We told them no vaccinations right off the bat,” said Steve Carrico.

The Carrico's and their 2-year-old twin daughters live in Orange County, California where there are 21 confirmed cases of measles so far this year...that's more than the number of total cases just 4, for all of California this time last year. And this year...authorities already confirm 49 measles cases throughout the state. And in 14 of those – the patients were intentionally not vaccinated.

“This is a preventable disease. If children get it it's serious,” said Dr. Eric Handler with Orange County Health Officer.

California is one of several states that allows parents to turn down vaccinations for personal beliefs.

“The fewer people vaccinated the greater chance the disease will spread.”

The Carrico's say they will eventually get their daughters vaccinated – but not until they're older and stronger. And say they feel the measles outbreak in California is being overblown.

“And we feel that we're making these decisions on our own and we'll take responsibility for them,” said Carrico.

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