17 Dec 2019

Measles death toll in Samoa rises to 75

4:19 pm on 17 December 2019

Two more children have died in Samoa's measles epidemic, bringing the toll to 75.

Both fatalities were under five years old - that age group makes up almost all of the dead.

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Photo: RNZ / Logan Church

According to the latest update, 5331 measles cases have been reported in total with 64 cases in the past 24 hours.

There are also currently 129 measles cases who are in-patients at Samoan health facilities.

Admissions include 16 critically ill children in intensive care.

The government said, as of yesterday, 93 percent of Samoa's population had been vaccinated.

When Samoa's Parliament resumed this morning, Speaker of the House, Leaupepe Toleafoa Faafisi, expressed condolences on behalf of Parliament to the families of the deceased.

He then called on the House to rise for a minute of silence for the victims.

Meanwhile, the state of emergency in Samoa, declared due to the epidemic, has been extended to 29 December, 2019.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said it had been extended so as to administer vaccinations to the remaining population, who are yet to be immunised.

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