Measles death toll in Samoa: 78

Samoa's Ministry of Health confirms a total of 5,463 measles cases have been reported to the Disease Surveillance Team since the onset of the outbreak that has killed 78 as of Dec. 21. There were 39 recorded in the last 24 hours, according to a press release from Samoa government.

The public emergency declaration, which was originally set to expire on dec. 14, has been extended until Dec. 29.

There are currently 114 measles cases who are in-patients at all health facilities. Of this, 96 are at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital (TTMH), 2 at Poutasi District Hospital, 1 at Lalomanu District Hospital, 12 at the Leulumoega Rural District Hospital, 1 at the Malietoa Tanumafili II Hospital (MTIIH), 1 at Foailalo DH and 1 in Sataua District Hospital. Admissions include 15 critically ill children in ICU/HDU. The total number of measles cases admitted to all hospitals recorded for the outbreak to date is 1,762. Of that, 1,570 (89 percent) patients have been discharged. As of Dec. 19, approximately 94 percent of all eligible people in Samoa have been vaccinated against measles. National Emergency Operation Centre continues to be the focal point providing collaboration and operational coordination amongst all stakeholders, with advice and technical guidance from MOH for the duration of the Emergency Period.

According o the Center for Infection Diseases Center, the outbreak has triggered an outpouring of help from other countries as the small island nation battles measles, and in a related development, New Zealand's government on Dec 14 announced that it would contribute $1 million to the UNICEF and World Health Organization (WHO) Pacific regional action plan for measles.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters said in a statement, "This plan offers immediate preventative action. It allows for the flexibility to respond to additional requests from other Pacific nations and offers an efficient way o