18 Dec 2019

Samoa's measles death toll rises to 76

2:13 pm on 18 December 2019

There have now been 76 measles-related deaths since Samoa's outbreak began, the government says.

There are 126 people with measles in hospital, including 17 children in intensive care.

Women in Samoa wearing masks to protect themselves from measles.

Women in Samoa wearing masks to protect themselves from measles. Photo: RNZ Pacific / Jenny Meyer

Forty new measles cases have been reported in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 5371.

To date, 94 percent of the population has been vaccinated.

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

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has said it was extended so as to administer vaccinations to the remaining population yet to be immunised.

Meanwhile, Fiji's Government reports there are now 23 confirmed measles cases in the country.

The latest are a 13-month-old and a 20-year-old from Saumakia Village in Naitasiri.

All 23 cases have been in the Central Division and as of today, none of the victims are hospitalised.

Since the outbreak was declared five weeks ago, about 235,000 people in Fiji have been immunised against measles.

Health officials say they are especially urging parents of children aged six months to five years of age to get their children immunised, as children under the age of five are most at risk.

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