Published:  04:11 PM, 22 December 2019

79 die of measles in Samoa

79 die of measles in Samoa

The Samoan government said Sunday that 79 people have died of measles since the epidemic broke out in the South Pacific island nation in mid-October.

Some 5,520 measles cases have been reported to the Disease Surveillance Team since the outbreak began, with 26 recorded in the last 24 hours, the government said in a statement on Facebook.

So far, 83 people have been hospitalized for treatment of measles in the country.

As of Saturday, 94 percent of population have been vaccinated against measles, the government said. The country has a population of less than 200,000.

Samoa has extended its state of emergency declared last month to Dec. 29, placing additional restrictions on public gatherings and inter-island travels.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Death may occur in up to 5-10 percent of infected young children in developing countries.

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