Measles outbreak in American Samoa confirmed


The American Samoa Department of Health is closing daycare centers and one school effective today as a result of one confirmed measles case.

In an urgent press conference held yesterday evening by the ASDOH confirmed that test samples from an 8 year old girl seen at the clinics with measles symptoms late last month were to California and the results arrived today confirmed the measles case.

The Epidemiologist Scott Anesi says they have enough MMR vaccines and expect to receive more vaccinations.

However they will be taking the vaccine out to the public starting today. He said since measles can spread rapidly and aggressively the department is closing down daycare centers to protect babies from being exposed to the measles virus as infants under 6 months are not eligible for the Mumps, Measles and Rubella shots.

The first shot is administered at 1 yr but DOH is following the CDC guidelines that during an outbreak, the first shot can be administered at 6 months.

The department will monitor the situation and will make a recommendation regarding the closure of schools if warranted.

DOH has the names of children that have not received the first and second shots of measles and will be contacting their parents to get them immunized.

Parents are urged to check on their children’s measles vaccination.Symptoms of measles include a fever, a rash, runny nose, and reddening of the eyes.