By NewsDesk   @bactiman63

The Government of American Samoa issued a public health emergency declaration due to a measles outbreak.

According to the declaration by Governor Lolo Moliga, nine measles cases, three locally acquired, have been reported.

The declaration activates the Emergency Operations Center. In addition, all schools, public and private, and daycare’s will be closed until further notice and all public gatherings will be cancelled.

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According to Health Department Epidemiologist Dr. Aifili John Tufa, the territory will get a measles vaccine shipment from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection on Monday.

Data presented by health officials early this week during a cabinet meeting shows a 99.7% vaccination rate for mumps, measles and rubella in the territory, officials said.

But Tufa said that more needs to be done to up the rate for the 1-5 year age group which is currently at 84.7% “The number one way to stop the spread of measles is to immunize,” he said.

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