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Samoa's measles epidemic: Death toll rises to 55

December 3, 2019 3:29 pm
Photo: RNZ / Logan Church

There have been another two deaths in Samoa’s measles epidemic, bringing the toll to 55.

It’s the seventh day the death toll has risen, with children making up almost all of the dead.

In the past 24 hours, there were another 153 cases of measles recorded, bringing the total to more than 3,800.

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And 174 people remain in hospital, including 18 critically ill children.

Samoa is racing to immunize its entire population and on Thursday and Friday government will shut down to assist the effort.

Prime Minister Tuila’epa Sa’ilele Maleilegaoi announced the measure on Monday evening in a nationwide address. He said all branches would close except the water and electricity authorities.

Tuila’epa reiterated the importance of the mass vaccination campaign and said there were three key facts people needed to understand.

“First, vaccination is the only cure. Two, if infected cases are presented early for treatment, full recovery should be expected. And thirdly, no traditional healers can cure measles

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