Samoa measles outbreak kills 20, mostly children

epa07912253 A Filipino health worker prepares a measles vaccine inside a government run health center in Manila, Philippines, 08 October 2019 (issued 11 October 2019). With epidemics of dengue and measles, which have killed more than 1,800 people, and a newly declared polio outbreak, the Philippine health system is overwhelmed and the country is at risk of becoming an incubator for preventable diseases, largely due to the fear of vaccines. The majority of those killed by dengue and measles are children under five, and in the last month two cases of polio have been confirmed - a three-year-old girl in Lanao del Sur and a five-year-old boy in Manila -, a non-curable disease which was eradicated in the country 19 years ago. EPA-EFE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

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Deaths related to measles, mostly among small children, have more than tripled to 20 in the past week on the Pacific island of Samoa, the government has said eight days after declaring a state of emergency over the outbreak.

The island state of just 200,000, located south of the equator and half way between Hawaii and New Zealand, declared a measles epidemic late in October after the first deaths.

The government has identified 1,644 suspected cases of measles, more than doubling over the past week, with deaths rising to 20 from six, it said on Friday. Children younger than five accounted for all but one of the deaths.

Via Reuters

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