One new death, as epidemic peters out

By Sapeer Mayron 21 December 2019, 2:41PM

The national death toll from the measles epidemic has reached 79 as one more fatality was recorded in the past 24 hours, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Health (M.O.H.).

The Ministry reports that the total number of patients infected with the virus since the epidemic was declared in mid-October has now reached 5,494.  

But new cases of the disease are slowing rapidly, with eight fewer cases than the last status report on the epidemic on Friday. There have only been 31 new cases of measles in the past 24 hours, according to Government statistics. At the peak of the epidemic the daily rate of new infections frequently exceeded 200. 

There are also significantly fewer people in hospital, with 93 measles related cases across the country, or 21 fewer than the Government reported on Friday. 

The majority of the patients who have been discharged have come from Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital which currently has 73 cases. Among those are 10 critically ill children, a number that has decreased by five since the last update.  

There are 12 measles related cases in Leulumoega Hospital, two in Poutasi and one in Lalomanu. In Savaii there are just four cases, three in Tuasivi and one in Sataua. There are now no cases of measles in Foailalo District Hospital, the M.O.H. reports.

Approximately 94 per cent of the eligible population have been vaccinated against measles, the Government reports. 

There are eight days remaining in the national state of emergency, which was first proclaimed on November 15 and then extended to the end of this month. The Government's mass vaccination campaign, which began on November 20, will now attempt to reach the final one per cent of the population required to achieve national immunity to the viris.  

People can still call 999 to have a mobile clinic arrive to their home, anywhere in the country. 

There are fixed vaccination sites in the village Church facilities of Alafua, Aleisa, Elise Fou, Faleula, Leauvaa, Malie, Moamoa, Nu'u Fou, Sinamoga, Siusega, Talimatau, Toamua Uta, Vailoa Faleata, Vaimoso, Vaitele Fou, Vaitele Tai, Vaitele Uta, Vaitoloa and Vaiusu.

Vaccination against measles is compulsory under the state of emergency orders. And the passage of new legislation this week makes receiving the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and all other routine childhood vaccines a mandatory prerequisite for children's school enrollment. 


By Sapeer Mayron 21 December 2019, 2:41PM

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