28 Nov 2019

Samoa measles epidemic: Death toll reaches 39

1:29 pm on 28 November 2019

There's been another six deaths in Samoa's measles epidemic, bringing the toll to 39.

Posters warning about measles in Samoa.

Posters warning about measles in Samoa. Photo: RNZ Pacific / Jenny Meyer

All but four of the deaths are children under the age of four, including the six who died in the past 24 hours.

And 190 people with the disease remain in hospital, including 25 critically ill children and pregnant women.

A mass vaccination campaign is underway with dozens of New Zealand and Australian nurses in Samoa to assist.

Samoa's top health official predicted on Wednesday the worst was still to come.

Director General of Health, Leausa Dr Take Naseri, said more children needed to be reached.

"We are still not satisfied with the coverage of the six months to the four years. We still haven't crossed 40 percent of that age group.

"The other age groups are doing steadily, but we are still worried that most of the kids are not coming forward or not being brought by their parents."

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