Samoa measles

New foreign medical teams will relieve exhausted doctors, nurses

There have been nearly 4700 cases of measles diagnosed since October.

The UK government said in a statement 14 medics will arrive on Sunday, to relieve a team that arrived two weeks ago.

"The medical system here is under the most enormous amount of strain, with the hospital operating far, far beyond its usual capacity," said Becky Platt, a paediatric nurse with the UK Emergency Medical Team.

"The local staff have been working around the clock for weeks and weeks on end, many of them without proper breaks or any days off. Some of them are absolutely on their knees."

Two more babies die as Samoa locks down for measles vaccination

The latest fatalities are aged between 6 months and 4 years old.

The death toll is now 62.

There are currently 19 critically ill children in ICU/HDU and 3 pregnant women and 1 postnatal at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital.

The Ministry of Health confirms a total of 4,217 measles cases have been reported to the Disease Surveillance Team, since the outbreak started.  There were 165 recorded in the last 24 hours.

UNICEF on Samoa measles outbreak: 'The situation is huge'

There are now 60 measles-related deaths, with children making up most of the fatalities.

There are also 174 people still in hospital including 18 critically-ill children.

UNICEF's representative for the Pacific, Sheldon Yett, said Samoa was a small country and with its limited resources, the measles outbreak was proving overwhelming.

Samoa measles epidemic - unvaccinated households told to tie red flags to homes

The authorities want to make it easier for teams carrying out a door to door mass vaccination campaign on Thursday and Friday to identify households who need vaccinated.

 The country's expected to shut down for those two days while the campaign is carried out.

 The latest measures come as the number of measles-related deaths continue to rise.

 Yesterday the Samoan government said 55 people had died from measles, by far the majority of them children under four.

 Another update is expected from them early this afternoon.

153 new cases, Samoa measles death toll reaches 55

According to the Ministry of Health, there were 153 new cases recorded over the same period.

A total of 3,881 measles cases have been reported to the Disease Surveillance Team, since the outbreak started.

There are currently 174 measles cases who are in-patients at all health facilities.

Eighteen children remain critically ill in ICU/HDU.

There are two pregnant women and 2 postnatal admitted in hospital.

The ministry said there is a 2% increase in recovery rate over a 24-hour period.

Toddler's measles death in Samoa: 'Unfortunately the Lord called him'

It comes as the Samoan government announces a two-day government shut down on Thursday and Friday this week - with most government workers and resources put into an ongoing mass immunisation programme.

At least 53 people have died due to measles in the country since the outbreak began, most of them children.

One of the deceased is 18-month-old Sione. Speaking to RNZ through a translator at the boy's freshly laid grave, his mother Fala'i and father Lupino say he was a "special kid".

Private clinic in Samoa probed over unauthorised measles vaccination

This comes at the start of a second week of mass vaccination on the biggest island, Savaii, where people go to hospitals for the immunisation shots.

The Director General of Health, Leausa Dr Take Naseri, said a second private clinic which provided vaccination had done so after being approved by the previous National Health Services.

He said that clinic was not part of the investigation but was awaiting re-evaluation by UNICEF and the Ministry of Health to restart administration of measles vaccination.