Dozens of unvaccinated students have been banned from an Orange County high school after being exposed to measles by an infected classmate.

The 24 students cannot return to Huntington Beach High School until Jan. 29, according to district officials. "There's been some kids absent from my class," Jordian McCutch said. The infected student was on campus from Jan. 6 to Jan. 8.

The move is part of an effort to slow the measles outbreak that began at Disneyland in December. Orange County has 16 confirmed cases of the viral infection, six of which are not connected to the Disneyland outbreak. "It doesn't worry me that much because I've had the vaccination," a female student said.

Measles is highly contagious and can spread easily through the air.

"Simply being in the same room with someone who has measles is sufficient to become infected," the Orange County Health Care Agency said in a letter to parents in the district.

California state laws require children to be vaccinated with the MMR vaccine before enrolling in school. Some parents believe the shots are linked to autism and other medical conditions and have signed medical-exemption forms.