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Samoa's measles death toll rises to 55

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-12-03 10:20

SUVA -- Samoa's Ministry of Health confirmed on Tuesday two more deaths in the island nation's measles epidemic, bringing the toll to 55 since the measles outbreak started in Mid-October.

According to a government statement on Tuesday, of the 55 deaths, most are children under four years old, with two fatalities reported in the last 24 hours.

The Samoan Ministry of Health said that a total of 3,881 measles cases have been recorded to the Disease Surveillance Team so far, with 153 cases reported in the last 24 hours.

A total of 174 people are hospitalized with measles.

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

On Monday, Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi urged all Samoans to work together to deal with the measles epidemic.

The prime minister also announced the closure of public service and all government services from Thursday to Friday in order to allow all public servants to assist with the mass vaccination campaign throughout the country.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Death may occur in up to 5 percent to 10 percent of infected young children in developing countries.

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