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Pacific measles: 81 deaths in Samoa, new cases in Kiribati and Hawaii

Christian Fernsby ▼ | December 26, 2019
Samoa's Ministry of Health has confirmed another death in the measles epidemic sweeping the country.
Pacific measles
Health in the Pacific   There are currently 43 measles cases in hospitals, 10 are of them are critical
The Ministry said the death of a child under five years old recorded in the last 24 hours takes the death toll to 81.

It said there are currently 43 measles cases in hospitals, 10 are of them are critical; seven are children.

There were nine measles cases recorded in the last 24 hours for Upolu.

There were no new cases for Savai'i.

As of Christmas Day, about 95 percent of all eligible people in Samoa have been vaccinated against measles.

In the wake of confirmed measles cases in Kiribati and Hawaii, as well as ongoing spread in many islands in the South Pacific, the Marshall Islands has tightened its measles prevention requirements for people entering and leaving the country.

At least one passenger coming to Majuro from the South Pacific was denied entry this past weekend because she did not have written proof of measles vaccine as required by the new travel advisory for the country.

The updated travel advisory requires that all Marshallese citizens and foreign residents from six months to 62 years of age traveling internationally must have written proof that they have an up-to-date measles vaccine or an exemption in writing from a doctor.

Incoming passengers in this same age group, both Marshallese and foreign residents, must likewise show proof of measles vaccine to United Airlines and Nauru Airlines to board flights to Majuro or Kwajalein.

Marshallese and non-residents traveling on one-way tickets out of Marshall Islands do not need to show proof of measles vaccine.

Although to date there have been no measles cases in Marshall Islands, the Ministry of Health is taking the threat seriously.