Samoa's Devastating Measles Outbreak

Samoa’s Devastating Measles Outbreak: An Antivax Story

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I’m not the first to say vaccines are
sometimes the victims of their own
measles rates have been on the decline
since the development of the vaccine in 1963
that is until the rise of anti
vaccination efforts in the last several
years measles outbreaks are on the rise
and as you’ve probably seen in the news
recently they’re wreaking some serious
the havoc this is healthcare triage news
measles is one of the world’s most
contagious diseases fortunately it is
also almost entirely preventable if we
do things right and buy new stuff right
I mean maintain high vaccination rates
and by that measure, it’s not going great
in some places one of these places is
Samoa while vaccination rates are lower
then we’d like, and this measles case is
higher than we’d like in many countries
vaccination rates in Samoa were only get
31 percent last year according to the
World Health Organization they were 90
percent in 2013 so what happened
some of the declines have been attributed
to the deaths of two infants in July of
2018 these infants died after
vaccinations spreading fear among the
local community and resulting in a halt
of the vaccination program while the
the situation was investigated the
investigation revealed that the deaths
were a result of the vaccine being mixed
with an expired muscle relaxant not an effect of the vaccine itself however
rates were steadily declining before
this incident likely due to the spread
of misinformation by anti-vaccine groups
and then this didn’t help since the
the outbreak began in Samoa in October over
4,000 cases of measles have been
reported and as of December 3rd 60
measles-related deaths have occurred the
majority of them children under four years
of age a nationwide immunization
the campaign is now underway and
vaccinations have been made mandatory
schools are closed, and children are not
currently allowed of public gatherings
unvaccinated families have been asked to
place red flags outside their homes and
to wait for mobile vaccination clinics
to arrive hospitals are estimated to be
running well over capacity and the
the government announced a two-day shutdown
of non-essential public services in
order to redirect efforts to the
immunization care
this is devastating one family alone has
lost three of their five children to a
preventable disease
like I said vaccines are often a victim
of their success, it’s easy to forget
the devastation these diseases can cause
and how lucky we are to be able to avoid
them, please protect your children
Paige enjoyed this episode you might
enjoy this recent episode we did on
measles and its relation to immunity
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