MELBOURNE: Samoa declared a state of emergency this weekend, media reported, closing all schools and cracking down on public gatherings, after ...
The island state of just 200,000, located south of the equator and half way between Hawaii and New Zealand, declared a measles epidemic late in October after the first deaths were reported.
Since then, at least six deaths, five of them of infants under the age of two, have been linked to the outbreak, according to The Samoa Observer newspaper. Of the 716 suspected cases of measles, 40per cent required hospitalization.
"Measles is highly contagious, and the outbreak has taken lives in Samoa," Peters said in a statement."It is in everybody's interests that we work together to stop its spread."
Measles cases are rising globally, including in wealthy nations such as the United States and Germany, where some parents shun immunization mostly for philosophical or religious reasons, or concerns, debunked by medical science, that such vaccines could cause autism.
Since then, 251 cases of confirmed or suspected measles have been identified, the ministry said in the statement.Read more: CNA
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