World Health Organization warns measles resurgent as Samoa deaths rise

Nellie Chapman
December 4, 2019

A New Zealand newspaper has caused anger for publishing cartoons that make light of the crisis engulfing measles Samoa, which has killed 55 people so far, a lot of them children under the age of four.

Samoa Observer journalist Sapeer Mayron told Heather du Plessis-Allan many people are still vulnerable.

The World Health Organisation warned of a "slide back" in global efforts to eliminate measles Tuesday, as the death toll from an outbreak that has killed dozens of children in Samoa continued to climb.

Schools had already been closed under the national emergency, and children were excluded from public meetings.

Officials in Samoa say low immunization rates have caused a measles outbreak. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has vowed to get the determine above 90%.

"Our children and people will never become immune to any future epidemic unless we have nearly 100% vaccination coverage", he said while touring a hospital ward on Wednesday.

Australia and New Zealand have sent medical teams to help Samoan local hospitals.

It normally takes between 10 days and two weeks for a vaccine to start out working.

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Some people are reportedly peddling false treatments. With a local businessman, Fritz Alaiasa Neufeld, claiming that his "Kangen Water" product, filtered tap water, could relieve the symptoms of Measles.

Tonga and Fiji have also declared states of emergency to tackle their measles outbreaks in the last month.

Measles is a extremely infectious viral sickness that may generally result in severe well being problems, together with infections of the lungs and mind.

Ms Ardern said the natural curve of infection rates meant that "sometimes things can be worse before they are better".

The WHO reports there were more measles cases worldwide during the first six months of 2019 than in any other year since 2006.

Most branches of government will close on December 5 and 6.

The WHO says the outbreak there's the world's largest and fastest-moving epidemic.

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