Samoan measles outbreak: 70 deaths projected and 6500 infected

Henrietta Brewer
November 29, 2019

As of November 28, the Ministry of Health confirms a total of 2,936 cases and 39 measles related deaths, with 250 new cases reported within the last 24 hours.

Auckland doctor Scott Wilson, who has been leading a medical team in Samoa for the last 10 days, told the Herald children were collapsing as soon as they walked through the hospital doors and required immediate resuscitation. In the first six months of this year, more than 364,000 cases were reported worldwide - compared to just 129,000 in 2018.

New Zealand announced extra aid for Samoa Friday as the Pacific nation's measles epidemic raced past 3,000 cases and experts warned the number could double before the crisis was over.

Samoa declared a state of emergency on the 16 of November after declaring the epidemic in October, and schools have been closed with young people being urged not to attend public gatherings.

The Samoan government has scrambled to vaccinate a quarter of the population (57,000 out of 200,000) since the outbreak began.

"In the case of Samoa, I think it's particularly distressing because we have such a awful crisis happening", she said.

World Health Organization data for the first six months of 2019 show the highest number of measles cases reported worldwide since 2006, and there are now several large outbreaks raging in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Ukraine.

"We are walking into them at the supermarket and seeing them come back with their siblings and they are doing so much better".

32 New Zealand nurse vaccinators working on one-week rotations.

The illness is believed to have unfold from New Zealand, which suffered a measles outbreak in September.

"An Australian Medical Assistance Team (AUSMAT) will work alongside Samoan health personnel to provide urgent care to critically ill patients, support vaccinations and develop public health messages", Senator Payne said.

Peter said Samoan health workers had been grappling with the outbreak for a number of weeks.

The Independent State of Samoa issued an update regarding the extensive measles outbreak rapidly spreading in this Pacific Island country.

The government is also funding a further 100 thousand measles and rubella vaccines, and a machine to help meet unprecedented demand for oxygen.

Measles news published by Vax-Before-Travel.

Andrea Chapman, a Kiwi nurses, said in a statement published on November 27th "We're educating people that the vaccination takes 14 days until it is fully effective".

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