Measles Takes the Life of 43 Year Old Father at Christmas

A 43 year old father from Luatuanuu passed away while being treated at the Intensive Care Unit on Monday evening.

Entrance of the TTMH Intensive Care Unit.

Christmas Day, 2019 Press Release No.39. The most recent Pess Statement from the National Emergency Operation Centre issued at 11am this morning confirms that a 43 year old has passed away from the measles, taking the official death toll to 80.

A Samoa Global News source says the latest victim of the Samoa measles crisis is a 43 year old father from Luatuanuu who passed away while being treated at the Intensive Care Unit on Monday evening 23rd December 2019.

Today’s press statement also confirms the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital (TTMH) Intensive Care Unit (ICU) now has 8 critically ill children and 1 adult; from the 6 and 3 respectively reported yesterday.

Entrance of Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital where ICU is on the 2nd floor.

“Admissions include 8 critically ill children and 1 adult in ICU/HDU.”

The critically ill adult at the ICU is a 39 year old male, also a father, who is fighting for his life.

The good news is that the 3 pregnant women hospitalised at TTMH with the measles have all been discharged in the last 24 hours.

The epidemic does show signs of slowing with the Ministry of Health confirming only 23 recorded cases in the last 24 hours.

A total of 5,603 measles cases have been reported to the Disease Surveillance Team since the outbreak started and out of the 1,818 patients admitted to hospitals, 93% or 1,683 have been successfully treated and discharged.

Although the recovery rate of in-patients is a high 93% and despite the inflow of Medical Assistance Teams from across the globe in Samoa to offer assistance, the measles outbreak still today, continues to claim lives in Samoa.

The measles epidemic struck at a time when Samoa’s MMR vaccination coverage was at an all-time low. The WHO predicted a rate of 30% while some doctors and health care professionals in Samoa told Samoa Global News that it could have in fact been as low as 10%.

The tick showing this household has been vaccinated.

A successful Mass Vaccination program in recent weeks has now brought that number up to 95%.

“As of December 24, 2019, approximately 95% of all eligible people in Samoa have been vaccinated against measles.”

Sina Retzlaff