Samoa Closes Schools as Measles Epidemic Kills at Least 16


Schools in the Pacific island nation of Samoa were closed indefinitely on Monday and children were barred from public gatherings amid a measles epidemic that has killed at least 16 people, many of them younger than age 2.

As Samoa, a country of about 200,000 people that is part of the same island chain as American Samoa, declared an emergency last week, health officials said they were “anticipating the worst to come.”

At least 1,174 potential cases of measles have been recorded, and 189 people have been hospitalized, the government said in a statement on Tuesday. In the last day alone, 114 cases were recorded and a 7-month-old infant died. Almost all of the cases are on the island of Upolu, with children below the age of 5 most severely affected.

Experts said the situation could worsen, and called the Samoan government’s response to the epidemic delayed.



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