22 Jan 2018

100 feared dead in Papua measles outbreak

6:39 pm on 22 January 2018

A measles outbreak in Indonesia's Papua province may have killed about 100 people.

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Photo: 123RF

The AFP reported a military spokesperson saying 69 toddlers had died in the remote Asmat region while another 27 could have been killed in the mountainous Oksibil district.

He said the victims in Asmat's difficult to access swamplands were malnourished and too weak to fight off the infection.

The AFP said about 130,000 people live in Asmat, which could only be reached by plane, helicopter and boat rides from Papua's capital Jayapura.

A member of Asmat's health task force, Steven Langi, said the terrain was slowing the distribution of aid.

"A problem here is about geography, very difficult in transportation and we need much, much more fuel," Dr Langi said.

"Get support from army and police a medical team from Jakarta," he said.

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