Measles epidemic worsens, 169 suspected cases recorded

The measles epidemic in Samoa has reached the big island of Savai’i as the number of confirmed cases increase to seven.

Since September this year, some 169 suspected cases have been noted by the Ministry of Health, according to an update issued by the Government on Tuesday afternoon.

 Of all the suspected cases, 153 of them were recorded in Upolu with 16 cases in Savai’i.

“Of the 169 suspected measles cases, seven cases have been confirmed for Measles as of last week with 83 additional specimen results pending including the one suspected Measles related death,” the update from the Ministry of Heath reads.

“Out of the 169 suspected cases 49 (30%) were admitted to T.T.M. hospital, majority have recovered and discharge home with 2 adults and 5 children still admitted in hospital.

“No admissions have been reported from MTII Hospital in Savai’i.”

The Government says the majority of people affected are children below 10 years of age as well as those aged between 20 to 30 years.

The Ministry of Heath also continues to encourage members of the public to get vaccinated against measles.

“Vaccination against measles is available at all health facilities including TTM Hospital Motootua and MTII Hospital Tuasivi,” the statement reads.

“Our main Immunization Clinic at TTM Hospital Motootua opens Mondays to Fridays from 8.00am – 8.00pm daily and Saturdays from 8.00 am – 1.00pm.

“The Immunization Clinic for MTII Hospital Tuasivi, also opens Mondays to Fridays from 8.00am – 8.00pm and Saturdays from 8.00 am – 1.00pm.”

The Ministry also reiterated its precautionary advisory, urging people to:

1.       Avoid overcrowded living environments and engaging in public gatherings

2.       Keep children home from school if sick.

3.       The working public is advise to stay home if showing sign and symptoms of Measles

4.       Ensure vaccination status of your child is up to date for all vaccine preventable diseases.

5.       Children 6 months of age upwards are encourage to be vaccinated.

6.       It is important to stay calm and not to panic. Take panadols or paracetamol syrup (for children) if having fever and apply cool sponging.

7.       Ensure to drink plenty of fluids and maintain good hydration

8.       Pregnant mothers to take extra precautions in protecting themselves.

9.       Seek medical advice at your nearest health center if child’s condition becomes worse.

10.    Cover your nose when coughing or sneezing or wear a mask

11.    Do not share beddings, clothes, drinks etc, etc

12.    Good hand washing using soap and clean water after sneezing and coughing and when caring for the sick.

 “For further information on measles please contact nearest Health facility or call Dr Robert Thomsen on 66503 or Tevaga Dr Ponifasio Ponifasio on 66500 or Dr Sarah Brown on 66723 or your healthcare provider.”


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