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Samoa’s measles death toll climbs to 53

3 December 2019 21:56

SUVA. KAZINFORM - Samoa's Ministry of Health confirmed on Monday five more deaths in the island nation's measles epidemic, bringing the death toll to 53 since the measles outbreak in Mid-October, Xinhua reports.

According to a government statement on Monday, of the 53 deaths, 48 are children under four years old, with five fatalities in the last 24 hours.

The Ministry of Health said that a total of 3,728 measles cases have been recorded to the Disease Surveillance Team so far, with 198 cases reported in the last 24 hours.

A total of 183 people are now hospitalized with measles.

Currently, Samoa is in a state of emergency, with all schools closed, a mass vaccination campaign underway and public gatherings in the nation restricted.

A total of 32,743 vaccinations were completed before the Mass Vaccination Campaign. Since the activation of the Mass Vaccination Campaign on Nov. 20 2019, the ministry has successfully vaccinated 58,150 individuals in the nation.

In a related development, Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi urged on Monday all Samoans to work together to deal with the measles epidemic.

He also announced that the public service and all government services will be closed on Dec.5-6 in order to allow all public servants to assist with the mass vaccination campaign throughout the country except for the utilities (Water and Electricity).

In Fiji, the government said on Monday that there are now 15 confirmed cases of measles since the last update on Nov. 28.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Death may occur in up to 5-10 percent of infected young children in developing countries.

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