American Samoa Responding Swiftly to Avoid a Measles Outbreak in the Territory

American Samoa officials respond swiftly. Image: KVZKTV

The American Samoa Department of Public Health has issued a statement confirming a positive case of measles in the Territory.

Early warnings have been issued for all residents not yet vaccinated and regular updates are being posted on the Department’s social media pages.

“Stay up-to-date regarding vaccinations and enforce daily hygiene routines. Follow for more updates to come.”

The 2019 Samoa measles outbreak began in September 2019 and as of 6 January 2020, there were over 5,700 cases of measles and 83 recorded deaths – mostly babies and toddlers under 3 years old.

The cause of the outbreak in Samoa was attributed to decreased vaccination rates, from 74% in 2017 to 31–34% in 2018, even though nearby islands had rates near 99%.

It has not been announced what the vaccination rates are for American Samoa.