Samoa death toll

Death toll from measles in Samoa reaches 79

The infant was younger than 12 months and died in the past day according to Samoa's Ministry of Health.

A further 31 cases were recorded in the past 24 hours which continues a slowing in the number of new cases.

The total number of measles infections is 5,494.

There are 93 people in hospital with the virus including 10 critically ill children.

As of 20 December, vaccinations remained at 94 percent of the population. The World Health Organisation recommends a 95 percent immunisation rate to avoid the spread of measles.

Samoa's measles death toll now 77

The child is believed to be under the age of five.

The age group makes up almost all of the dead - 121 people remain in hospital, including 17 critically ill children.

There were another 53 measles cases recorded in the past 24 hours, bringing the total since October to more than 5,400.

Samoa has vaccinated 94 percent of its population against measles following a mass campaign.


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The government said there had also been 3149 measles confirmed cases of the disease, more than 200 of those in the last 24 hours.

Nearly 200 people are currently hospitalised with measles, including 20 critically ill children in intensive care.

A mass vaccination campaign is underway with dozens of New Zealand and Australian nurses in Samoa to assist.

Samoa's top health official has said the epidemic is yet to peak.

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Samoa's Ministry of the Prime Minister and Cabinet said 153 new measles cases have been recorded in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 1797.

About 92 percent of the 147 people being treated at health facilities are children, with 11 critically ill children in intensive care.

One couple have lost three of their five children.

The majority of the infected are on Upolu island.

The ministry said a mass vaccination campaign was launched on Wednesday and more than 10,128 people have since been immunised.