Samoan measles outbreak kills 60 including 52 children

An apology posted on Garrick Tremain's website

"While it seems like a bit of light hearted fun this is a serious issue and 55 people have already died from the measles outbreak which is devastating for Samoan communities".

All government services and businesses have been told to close down on Thursday and Friday so as to allow door-to-door mass vaccinations as Samoa tries a last-ditch effort to tackle the outbreak and improve immunity.

Cases of measles have also been reported in other island nations like Fiji and Tonga but there have been no reports of death.

Over the past years, anti-vaxxers went against immunization, and the circulating news on the effects of vaccines has left many parents reluctant to have their babies vaccinated. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has vowed to get the figure above 90%.

The creator of a cartoon in the Otago Daily Times joking about the Samoa measles epidemic has apologized, saying it should not have been put forward for publication.

Vaccination rates dropped following the deaths of two children who received shots mixed with muscle relaxant instead of water, due to human error, BBC News reported.

He discouraged people from turning to traditional healers for remedies, adding that vaccinations are "the only cure".

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"The answer to our prayers is with us through the services of the doctors and nurses and all health personnel".

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her country was doing all it could to help curb the epidemic, including sending more than 50 medical professionals and thousands of vaccines to Samoa.

He said the fatality rate in Samoa was less than two percent but had been known to reach five percent in developing countries.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that is normally transmitted through fluids in the respiratory system.

Measles is a virus that initially causes a runny nose, sneezing and fever.

A couple of days later it results in a blotchy rash that begins off on the face and spreads throughout the physique.

The only way to curb the outbreak and to prevent infection is by getting the vaccine.

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