Going viral – Measles outbreak takes a heavy toll

The deadly measles outbreak currently spreading through the Pacific is exacting a great human, and likely significant economic cost. At least 60 children and one adult in Samoa have died from measles or its complications according to the National Emergency Coordination Centre.

A State of Emergency was declared in Samoa on November 15.

The outbreak traces its origins to New Zealand. Samoa has closed all schools as well as its only university. Graduation ceremonies were cancelled and preschools, day care centres and outpatient clinics at hospitals have been closed.

In declaring the State of Emergency, Acting Prime Minister Faimalotoa Kika Stowers-Ah Kau announced that measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines are now mandatory and that children


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