Published: Wed, December 04, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Death toll rises to 60 as Samoa battles measles outbreak

Death toll rises to 60 as Samoa battles measles outbreak

The creator of a cartoon in the Otago Daily Times joking about the Samoa measles epidemic has apologized, saying it should not have been put forward for publication.

Deaths related to measles, mostly among small children, have more than tripled to 22 in the past week on the Pacific island of Samoa, the government said on the 23rd of November, eight days after declaring a state of emergency over the outbreak.

He was reportedly refused the vaccine at an Auckland clinic because he didn't have a New Zealand passport, and flew back to Apia on Upolu island on Tuesday, which is hosting 98% of the measles cases.

The flags will assist medical teams travelling door to door inoculating residents. The Samoan government has completely shut down its private sector following the deaths of 55 people there, most of whom were children.

Currently, Samoa is in a state of emergency, with all schools closed, a mass vaccination campaign underway and public gatherings in the nation restricted.

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Samoa is undergoing a measles outbreak this year from October.

The outbreak has been exacerbated by Samoa's low immunisation rates, which the World Health Organisation blames on overseas-based anti-vaccine campaigners. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has vowed to get the figure above 90%.

Neighbouring New Zealand and a number of other countries and organisations, including the United Nations agency UNICEF, have delivered thousands of vaccines, medical supplies and have sent medical personnel to help with the outbreak. One businessman told Australian broadcaster ABC that his "Kangen Water" - in reality, tap water - could alleviate symptoms.

Vaccination rates dropped following the deaths of two children who received shots mixed with muscle relaxant instead of water, due to human error, BBC News reported.

Measles is a extremely infectious viral sickness that may generally result in severe well being problems, together with infections of the lungs and mind. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced in April that the number of cases reported globally quadrupled in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2018.

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