Two more children die as Samoa measles epidemic death toll climbs to 62

The death toll from the measles epidemic in Samoa has risen to 62 today, with two deaths in the past 24 hours. 

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1 NEWS Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver has this midday, December 5 report. Source: 1 NEWS

Both of those fatalities were children under the age of five.

In that same amount of time, there have been 165 measles cases reported bringing the total to 4,217 measles cases reported since the outbreak started.

To date there are 19 critically ill children in intensive care fighting the disease.

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Roads are closed and businesses shut as the government ramps up its measles vaccination efforts. Source: 1 NEWS

As Samoa grapples to take control of the epidemic, the country is currently in a shut down period.

Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi has today visited one of the hospitals where some people who have been struck down by the disease are being treated.

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Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi visited today as the government remains shut down.

International teams have been deployed to assist the Samoan government  with their mass vaccination programme with crews from America, Britain, Australia and New Zealand on the ground in Samoa. 

All roads, businesses and most government departments are closed. These will remain closed for tomorrow as well with hopes that as many people as possible can get vaccinated.