No new deaths as infections drop

By James Robertson 10 December 2019, 7:29PM

There have been no new measles deaths recorded in the past day in Samoa as the rate of new infections plummets to what is likely its lowest level in weeks. 

A total of only 87 new infections were recorded in the past 24 hours and no fatalities, the Government’s National Emergency Operations Centre (N.E.O.C.) confirmed in a press statement late on Tuesday evening.

That brings to 4,819 the total number of measles cases since the Government declared an epidemic. 

The Government had not consistently provided daily updates since the measles crisis began, making comparisons difficult. 

But data suggests that Tuesday’s cases are the lowest daily increase, conservatively, since at least the period between November 11 and November 19 during which time a cumulative total of 458 new cases were reported; how many per day is not known. For the five days prior fewer than 100 cases were recorded. 

Over the following three days, to November 22, 470 people were infected. 

On Monday the number of new infections suggested 112 new people had been infected.

The Government initiated a mass vaccination drive on November 20 and effected the shutdown of all of Samoa's Government and commerce last Thursday and Friday to carry out door-to-door vaccinations. 

There are currently 169 measles cases who are in-patients at all health facilities. Of this, 140 are at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital; three at Poutasi District Hospital; four at Lalomanu DH, 14 at the Leulumoega Rural District Hospital, 3 at the Malietoa Tanumafili II Hospital; three at Foailalo District Hospital; one at the Sataua District Hospital and 1 at Safotu District Hospital. 

Those admitted include 21 critically ill children being intensive care and two pregnant women being treated at the national hospital.

The total number of measles cases admitted to all hospitals since the outbreak is 1,510. Of those 1,271 or 84 per cent have recovered with the recovery rate remained unchanged. 

The Government says it has achieved a 91 per cent vaccination rate among those “eligible” for the vaccine.

“There is ongoing data entry, verification, and analyses to estimate vaccination coverage for both Upolu and Savaii by target group and region during pre-campaign and mass vaccination campaign in Samoa,” the N.E.O.C. said in a statement.

“An update will be provided as soon as possible.”

By James Robertson 10 December 2019, 7:29PM
Samoa Observer

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