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Decorated with butterflies, infant-sized coffins sent to measles-ravaged Samoa

Sydney, AustraliaReuters Volunteers in the New Zealand city of Rotorua are preparing two dozen white-lined coffins to be transported to Samoa at the end of the week as the measles-ravaged Pacific island nation languishes under a growing death toll that has now hit 70.  The smallest of the coffins, designed for the bodies of babies, […]

WHO decries ‘collective failure’ as measles kills 140,000

DRC measles

London, UKReuters Measles infected nearly 10 million people in 2018 and killed 140,000, mostly children, as devastating outbreaks of the viral disease hit every region of the world, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. In figures described by its director general as “an outrage”, the WHO said most of last year’s measles deaths were […]

Samoa fights measles door-to-door in battle on anti-vaccination messages

Measles Samoa

Sydney, Australia Reuters Samoa on Thursday closed all non-essential public and private services for two days to combat a measles epidemic that has killed more than 60 people, mostly babies and children, in a battle complicated by a vocal anti-vaccination movement. The measles virus has infected more than 4,200 in the South Pacific nation of […]

Fiji to postpone sports contests as it battles measles outbreak

Reuters Fiji has asked its sports federations to postpone all competitions until January, in a bid to rein in the spread of a measles outbreak that has killed dozens in the neighbouring Pacific nation of Samoa. The highly infectious disease has been crossing the globe, recently finding a susceptible population in Samoa, where the official […]

Samoa in Christmas lockdown as measles deaths top 50

Wellington, New Zealand/Sydney, AustraliaReuters The small Pacific island nation of Samoa has closed schools and is restricting travel ahead of the Christmas holiday season as the death toll from a measles outbreak tops 50, in the latest flare-up of a global epidemic of the virus. The highly infectious disease has been crossing the globe, recently […]

New Zealand measles outbreak prompts travel warning


Wellington, New ZealandReuters New Zealand is asking travellers to make sure they are immunised for measles before travelling to its biggest city, Auckland, as the country faces its worst outbreak in over 22 years. “If you’re thinking of travelling into or out of Auckland, you should make sure you’re vaccinated at least two-weeks before you […]

Global measles cases three times higher than last year – WHO

WHO logo

Geneva, SwitzerlandReuters Every region in the world, except the Americas, is experiencing an increase in the number of cases of measles, a vaccine-preventable disease that can kill or disable children, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. The WHO’s Kate O’Brien put the blame on weak health systems and misinformation about vaccines, and called on […]