News Alerts

19 Oct 2019 | 09:26 PM UTC

Samoa: Nationwide measles epidemic declared October 16

Samoa News Alert

Ministry of Health declares nationwide measles epidemic October 16; ensure measles vaccination is up to date

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/19/2019, 12:00 AM until 10/30/2019, 11:59 PM (Pacific/Samoa). COUNTRY/REGION Samoa

Event

The Samoan Ministry of Health declared a nationwide measles epidemic on Wednesday, October 16. As of Friday, October 18, seven cases have been confirmed, including one associated death. Samoa has a low immunization rate of 31 percent and further spread of the disease is likely. Health officials have urged citizens to ensure that they are vaccinated against the disease.

Context

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that typically affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of infected persons. Symptoms of measles are usually a high fever, which begins approximately ten to 12 days after exposure to the virus and lasts four to seven days. A runny nose, a cough, red and watery eyes, and small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage. After several days, a rash erupts, usually on the face and upper neck. Over the course of about three days, the rash spreads, eventually reaching the hands and feet. The rash lasts for five to six days and then fades. On average, the rash occurs 14 days after exposure to the virus (within a range of seven to 18 days). A vaccine is available.

Advice

Individuals in Samoa are advised to ensure their measles vaccination is up to date (including booster shots) and to contact their doctor with any questions or concerns. Anyone experiencing the above symptoms is urged to seek immediate medical attention.

 

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