Pacific / Samoa

Measles death toll rises to 68 in Samoa

09:42 am on 9 December 2019

Sixty-eight people have now died in Samoa due to the measles epidemic.

The latest three deaths took place over the weekend.

Photo: RNZ Pacific / Jenny Meyer

Samoa's government said there had been nearly 4600 measles cases reported since the outbreak began in October.

There were 121 new cases between Saturday and Sunday.

There are currently 159 people hospitalised because of the measles, including 17 critically ill children and one pregnant woman.

The government ordered a shutdown of the nation on Thursday and Friday to try to cope with the epidemic.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said more than 20,000 vaccines were administered over the space of the two-day lockdown designed to stem the tide of the deadly measles epidemic, with vaccination teams visiting households to administer shots.