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Samoa measles death toll rises to over 50 with deaths of five more children

Five more children have died of measles in Samoa since yesterday, bringing the death toll to over 50.

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Helen Petousis-Harris joined TVNZ1’s Breakfast to discuss the epidemic in Samoa, where 39 people have died – mostly children. Source: Breakfast

The outbreak has now killed 53 people, with 48 of them less than four years old.

Just under 200 new cases were recorded in the last day, totalling 3729 since the outbreak began several weeks ago.

Two pregnant women remain in hospital with the disease while 19 children are critically ill, the Samoan government said today.

Mass vaccination alert sent out to mobiles around Samoa as age restriction on vaccinations are lifted

A major nationwide vaccination campaign has immunised 58,150 people across the island nation so far, a significant increase on the 32,743 people vaccinated before the epidemic broke out.