The death toll from Samoa’s measles epidemic remains at 79, with no fatalities in the past two days. To date, 5552 measles cases have been reported since the outbreak began in mid-October, with 32 recorded in the past day.
There are currently 82 people hospitalised with measles, Samoa’s Ministry of Health reports. Admissions include eight critically ill children, two adults in intensive care, and three pregnant women.
As of 22 December, 94 percent of the population has been vaccinated. The total number of measles cases admitted to hospitals since the outbreak is 1795. Of that, 1634 or 91 percent of patients have been discharged.
Meanwhile, Samoa’s Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, has urged parents not to hide their children from vaccinators or refuse to have them vaccinated. That comes after the death of a baby from Moto’otua, who had allegedly been hidden during the recent door-to-door vaccination campaign.
The Samoa Observer quotes Tuilaepa saying the family had depended on a traditional healer in their household and that was why the child had not been vaccinated. He was disappointed there were still children who had not been immunised – despite the mass vaccination campaign and government efforts to combat the epidemic.
American Samoa Measles Cases Stay At 10
An 11-month-old American Samoa baby suspected to have measles has been given the all clear, as the number of cases in the territory remains at 10. The baby was admitted two weeks ago to the LBJ Hospital with symptoms of measles.
However, department of Health epidemiologist Aifili Dr. John Tufa told KHJ News two other cases of possible measles were sent to Honolulu as a precaution, and also came back negative. Dr. Tufa said there are currently no suspected measles cases at the hospital.