CDC to send experts to Samoa as death toll from measles outbreak grows to 32

CDC to send experts to Samoa as death toll from measles outbreak grows to 32
The death toll from the measles outbreak in Samoa has grown to 32. (Source: CBS News/file)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Centers for Disease Control is sending experts to Samoa amid an ongoing measles outbreak that has killed 32 people, most of whom are young children.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the outbreak has sickened more than 2,400 people so far.

The CDC is helping the island nation by providing assistance with tracking and monitoring cases, along with vaccination campaigns. Two experts were expected to be on the ground soon, the Washington Post said.

A state of emergency was declared in Samoa after several deaths were reported.

Samoa has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the world, with only 31% of infants receiving the measles vaccine in 2018, according to the World Health Organization. That’s compared to 60% to 70% in previous years.

The country has been the target of anti-vaccine activists, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a nephew of President John F. Kennedy.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that can cause life-threatening health complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis.

According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration, just two doses of the MMR vaccine are 97% effective in preventing measles.

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