Intended for healthcare professionals


Measles: Samoa declares emergency as cases continue to spike worldwide

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 29 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6767
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Samoa is fighting a “huge outbreak” of measles, the World Health Organization has said, a year after a vaccine scare resulted in a collapse of immunisation rates.

So far 42 people have died from measles, almost all young children, and 3149 cases have been reported on the six islands that make up the Pacific nation, inhabited by about 200 000 people. Every day about 200 people with suspected cases arrive at hospital, said Ian Norton of WHO’s emergency medical unit, speaking to reporters from Geneva. The main hospital in the capital, Apia, which normally has four beds in its intensive care ward, currently has 14 children on ventilators, he said.

The government has closed …

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