Pacific / Samoa

Seven suspected measles deaths in Samoa - health authority

10:38 am on 13 November 2019

Health authorities in Samoa say they have registered seven deaths suspected to have been caused by the measles virus.

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

Director General of Health Leausa Dr Take Naseri said of the seven, most were young children.

As of Monday, 628 suspected measles cases had been recorded with 48 confirmed so far.

He said 20,000 doses of MMR vaccine had been administered and he urged the public to continue to participate in the immunisation drive, although he stressed the emphasis should be on vaccinating children first.

It was important that people heeded health directives including advice that children suspected of having measles were isolated from other family, especially other children within the home, Dr Naseri said.

A measles epidemic was declared in Samoa last month.

A live coldchain vaccine delivery of MMR in Samoa. Photo: RNZ Pacific / Jenny Meyer