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Measles death toll hits 25

The measles epidemic has now claimed 25 lives and infected 2,194 people.

This represents an an increase of 22 per cent from just two days prior.

The National Emergency Operations Centre (N.E.O.C.) has confirmed the numbers, and said of the mortalities, most are below the age of three years old. 

People with measles continue to arrive to hospitals in the hundreds, with 122 cases reported on Sunday alone.

Director General of the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, said of the 679 people hospitalised with measles, nearly 70 per cent have been discharged and are recovering.

But their recovery will be protracted as they deal with their immune system memory being completely wiped by the disease.

To date, there are 183 patients being treated in the nation’s hospitals. 

Twenty are children in intensive care and four are pregnant women.

142 are at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital, 18 are in Leulemoega and six are in Malietoa Tanumafili II Hospital in Savaii.

There are 17 cases being treated across the other district hospitals. 

Across the country, two thirds of all cases in hospitals are measles related, Leausa said. Other illness continues to plague Samoan people like diabetes and poorly controlled hypertension.

Most cases are still from Vaimauga West and Faleata West, and that is where the concentration of the response is too.

There are 16 mobile teams across Savaii and 20 across Upolu as part of the mass vaccination campaign vaccinating first six month to 19 year old children and non-pregnant women 20 to 35 years old. 

All other people will be vaccinated after the priority group is fully immunised, the N.E.O.C has said.

Salelologa Market has a fixed site where people can come for vaccination. 

More support is arriving from the World Health Organisation in the form of Emergency medical technicians, Leausa said.

The first case of measles was reported to surveillance on August 28. The country is now ten days into a State of Emergency with extreme measures in place to limit the movement and exposure of under 19-year-olds to the highly contagious virus.

Everyone in the country is getting vaccinated against the virus, with the sole exception of pregnant women. There are more than 30 sites for vaccination and mobile units are travelling to reach anyone unable to travel.

Vaccination is the only prevention against measles, which has no cure and can be fatal if its complications are severe enough.

Where you can get vaccinated: 

All locations: 

Upolu:

  • Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital Emergency Department, Monday to Friday from 8am – 8pm and Saturdays 8am – 1pm
  • Rural District Hospitals:  Leulumoega, Poutasi, Lalomanu,  Monday to Friday from 8am – 8pm
  • Community Health Centres: Faleolo, Lufilufi, Saanapu, Monday to Friday from 8am – 8pm
  • Wellness and Youth Friendly Service (Old Diabetic Clinic), Eleele Fou, Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm and Saturday 8am – 1pm
  • Samoa Family Health Association, Moto’otua, Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm and Saturday 8am – 1pm
  • Mobile Service Unit, Samoa Red Cross Headquarters, Tuanaimato, Monday to Friday 8am - 5pm
  • Samoa Tourism Authority Fale, Eleele Fou, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
  • Myna’s Old Supermarket, Vaoala, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
  • Laoa Manuleleua Lauese, Vaimoso, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
  • Fale Komiti, Lepea, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
  • Catholic Church, Moamoa, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
  • Congregation Christian Church of Samoa halls of: Moata’a, Magiagi, Fagalii, Toamua, Nuufou, Vaitele, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
  • Catholic Church halls of: Taufusi, Vailele, Moamoa, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
  • Methodist Church halls of: Vaipoto and Aele, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
  • Falefitu and Vaimea Primary Schools, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm

Savaii:

  • Malietoa Tanumafili II Hospital Emergency Department, Monday to Friday from 8am – 8pm and Saturdays 8am – 1pm.
  • Rural District Hospitals: Sataua, Safotu, Foailalo, Monday to Friday from 8am – 8pm
  • Community Health Centre in Satupaitea, Monday to Friday from 8am – 8pm
  • Salelologa Market, Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
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