By | Rachel Brooks
Contributor | Telegraph Local
See the New African Living Standard
High court of Samoa pictured above. The government had failed to bring immunization levels back to their standard normal. Now they must seek to control the unraveling measles epidemic with new immunization.
The measles has ravaged Samoa_robbing the nation of its youth, citing the New York Times. New York Times has captured forever the moment when Nuu Lameko was robbed of the joy of her life. Her little daughter Lemina. The laughter of this child with such a pleasant personality is silent now forever.
Citing RNZ news, the death toll from Samoa’s measles rose to 76 as of December 18, 2019. As of the last 24 hours, the Telegraph UK cites 77 deaths. That number may be even higher today. 126 people are currently hospitalized. 17 children are in the hospital with intensive cases. December 18 saw 40 new cases confirmed within its 24-hour cycle.
The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has extended the state of emergency until December 29, 2019. The emergency status has been extended so that new vaccinations can be administered to the public.
Samoa was issued health warnings in advance of this issue. The government of Samoa has been held accountable by the New York Times. This is because the spread of measles is easily prevented by the measles vaccine. Samoa had laws and regulations in place to ensure the nation was vaccinated. Yet, they allowed the vaccination rates to fall to staggering lows. This puts children_who are typically more susceptible to disease_at a high risk of a fatal case of the measles. This followed a medical scare that prompted the government to suspend its vaccination program.
Also citing the New York Times, measles outbreaks have been uncommonly high this year. They have touched every geographic location. Even in the United States, where the disease was thought to have been eradicated. Across the Globe, cases jumped to 300% in early 2019, citing the World Health Organization.
Samoa isn’t the only Pacific island nation to come under the heavy heel of measles. The Fiji Times reports 23 confirmed cases in Fiji. Outbreak News Today also reports the first confirmed case in Kiribati.
The latest cases in Fiji are a 13-month-old and a 20-year-old patient Saumakia Village which is in Naitasiri.
The first reported case in Kiribati is an 11-month old boy in Eita village, Tarawa. The Kiribati Ministry of Health reports the boy has responded to treatment and will recover. The Kiribati Measles Task Force is now en route to perform contact-tracing and to minimize the risk of spread.
The World Health Organization calls the measles a “highly contagious viral disease.” They call it an “important cause of death among young children globally.” WHO states that measles is spread through contact with nasal drippage of the infected patient. Symptoms typically appear between 10-12 days after infection. They include a high fever, runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth.
If you experience these symptoms, and reside in or have recently visited the island nations of Samoa, Fiji, or Kiribati, then you should see your physician immediately. To date, the most effective treatment for measles is preventative medicine and vaccination. It is advised you talk to your doctor about measles vaccination.