Two more measles deaths, fatality count rises to 22
The measles crisis has claimed more lives, with the Government confirming two further deaths during the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 22.
And that could rise with eleven children critically ill at the Intensive Care Unit (I.C.U.).
The figures were confirmed in the latest update provided by the National Emergency Operation Centre (N.E.O.C.) of Saturday evening.
“To date, 22 measles related deaths have been recorded, with two fatalities in the past 24 hours,” the update says.
The N.E.O.C. does not give details about the individuals and whether they died at the hospital.
The deaths are from a total of 1,797 measles cases that have been recorded since the outbreak started.
A hundred and fifty three cases were recorded during the last 24 hours.
“Majority of the measles cases are in Upolu. About 92% of current measles admissions are children, including 11 critically ill children in the Intensive Care Unit (I.C.U.),” the update says.
“There are currently 147 measles cases who are in-patients at all health facilities.
“Of this, 120 are at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital (TTMH), 1 at the Malietoa Tanumafili II Hospital (MTIIH), 2 at Sataua District Hospital, 1 at Foailalo District Hospital and 23 at the Leulumoega Rural District Hospital.”
The N.E.O.C. also provided an update on the Government’s mandatory vaccination programme.
“On the 20 November 2019, a Mass Vaccination Campaign was activated special fixed sites and mobile outreach vaccination teams, targeting areas with low immunization coverage, mainly Vaimauga West and Faleata West.
“To date, approximately 10,128 people received vaccinations through this campaign.
“N.E.O.C. continues to be the focal point providing collaboration and operational coordination amongst all stakeholders, with advice and technical guidance from MOH for the duration of the Emergency Period.”
What you need to know:
A new coordination office has been established to handle all issues related to measles. Phone: 66506 and 66507, email [email protected]
Where you can get vaccinated
1. Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital Emergency Department, Monday to Friday from 8am – 8pm and Saturdays 8am – 1pm
2. Rural District Hospitals: Leulumoega, Poutasi, Lalomanu, Monday to Friday from 8am – 8pm
3. Community Health Centres: Faleolo, Lufilufi, Saanapu, Monday to Friday from 8am – 8pm
4. Wellness and Youth Friendly Service (Old Diabetic Clinic), Eleele Fou, Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm and Saturday 8am – 1pm
5. Samoa Family Health Association, Moto’otua, Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm and Saturday 8am – 1pm
6. Mobile Service Unit, Samoa Red Cross Headquarters, Tuanaimato, Monday to Friday 8am - 5pm
7. Samoa Tourism Authority Fale, Eleele Fou, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
8. Myna’s Old Supermarket, Vaoala, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
9. Laoa Manuleleua Lauese, Vaimoso, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
10. Fale Komiti, Lepea, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
11. Catholic Church, Moamoa, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
1. Malietoa Tanumafili II Hospital Emergency Department, Monday to Friday from 8am – 8pm and Saturdays 8am – 1pm.
2. Rural District Hospitals: Sataua, Safotu, Foailalo, Monday to Friday from 8am – 8pm
3. Community Health Centre in Satupaitea, Monday to Friday from 8am – 8pm
If you or your child has symptoms of measles, go to the Acute Primary Care Clinic or Outpatient Department of T.T.M
It takes up to two weeks for the vaccination to become fully effective so it is important that the usual prevention measures are taken for up to two weeks after you have been vaccinated.
Symptoms: high fever, cough, runny nose, red and watery eyes and eye sensitivity to light.
After 3-5 days a raised red rash will start to appear on the head, face and body. Not all symptoms may be present.
If you or your children become sick:
1. Isolate yourself and take care to avoid contact with other vulnerable people like children.
2. Take Panadol or paracetamol syrup (for children) if having fever and apply cool sponging.
3. Drink plenty of fluids and maintain good hydration.
4. Do not share beddings, clothes, drinks and so on.
5. Wash your hands with soap and clean water after sneezing and coughing and when caring for the sick.
6. If your condition worsens, visit either T.T.M or M.T.II Hospital immediately.
To avoid contracting measles:
1. Avoid large gatherings or group activities (especially children)
2. Cover your nose when coughing or sneezing or wear a mask.
3. Isolate sick people in your family and do not share space with them.
4. Get your vaccination at either T.T.M or M.T.II Hospital between 8am-8pm daily.
*Reporter Sapeer Mayron contributed by compiling the “What you need to know” factsheet