The Samoa Government on December 21 informed that they have recorded 5,520 measles cases since the outbreak with 26 recorded since December 20, within a day. The death toll of measles outbreak has reached 79 and none have lost their lives within the last 24 hours, it added. The Government wrote the same on it's Twitter handle on December 21. By Saturday, 94 per cent of the population has been vaccinated, the Government claimed.
Latest update: 5,520 measles cases have been reported since the outbreak with 26 recorded in the last 24 hrs.— Government of Samoa (@samoagovt) December 21, 2019
To date, 79 measles related deaths have been recorded, with no fatalities in the last 24 hrs.
VACCINATION UPDATE:As of 21 Dec, 94% of population have been vaccinated.
Samoa declared a measles outbreak on October 16 after the first deaths were reported. Many of the island’s cases were in people who had been travelling and the others were locally transmitted informed American Samoa Health Department Epidemiologist Dr. Aifili John Tufa to the media. Schools are closed and gatherings in parks have been prohibited by the Government. Of the diseased, most are children.
In the second week of December Samoa started its vaccination drive. A two-day lockdown from December 5 to carry out an unprecedented mass vaccination drive to rein in the measles epidemic. All businesses and non-essential government services were ordered to shut down, inter-island ferry services canceled and people kept their cars off the roads. Residents were advised to stay inside their homes and display a red flag if they were not immunized.
On December 5, the World Health Organisation (WHO) called it the world's 'collective failure' against the vaccine-preventable infection. Measles has already infected nearly 10 million people worldwide and killed 1,40,000, most of whom are children. In figures described by its Director-General as 'an outrage', the WHO explained that most of last year's measles deaths were in five-year-old children or younger who had not been vaccinated. The global organization also added that more than 34,000 people across Europe caught measles in the first two months of 2019. Ukraine, Romania, and Albania are suffering a measles epidemic while the United States has already reported its record highest number of measles cases in 25 years.