US govt supports American Samoa’s efforts to combat measles

MMR vaccinations underway in American Samoa. Picture: RNZ

The US government has released nearly half-a-million dollars to support efforts to prevent the spread of measles in American Samoa.

With 11 confirmed cases of the disease, the territory has declared a public health emergency with border restrictions imposed, schools closed and public gatherings restricted.

To date, an epidemic in neighbouring Samoa has claimed the lives of 83 people.

In a statement, the department of interior assistant secretary, Doug Domenech, said current efforts had so far been effective in “stabilising and preventing the spread of measles”.

Funding of $US490,000 would help efforts to bring vaccination levels to 100 percent, he said.

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