Measles in Samoa – level 3

09-12-2019 07:00

More than 3,700 cases of measles are reported in Samoa, according to government data released on Monday. So far, 53 people have died, and majority were children under the age of five.

Samoa declared a state of emergency because of the outbreak and almost all of Samoa´s government and public services will be closed on Thursday and Friday so that employees can help with vaccination.

More than one quarter of Samoa´s population has been vaccinated, but it is a challenging task to increase vaccination rates. The World Health Organization says that 95 percent of a country´s population needs to be vaccinated against measles to prevent outbreaks. However, some people in Samoa are fearful about the safety of the vaccine after two Samoan children died in 2018 when their vaccinations were incorrectly mixed.

Difficult words: measles (an infectious disease typical for children that causes fever and a rash), outbreak (a start of a disease), challenging (difficult).

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