By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Samoa health officials are reporting in a measles update that the there has been 4,460 measles cases  reported to the Disease Surveillance Team, since the outbreak started, including more than 100 in the past day.

To date, 65 measles related deaths have been recorded, with 2 fatalities in the last 24 hours.

The Director of the Disaster Advisory Committee (DAC) Ulu Bismarck Crawley, has confirmed, that the two day vaccination effort, has resulted in around three weeks of work being done in 2 days.

“The national coverage now is at 89%, with our main target groups of infants 6 months to 4 years at 82%, and children aged 5 to 19 years at a high 93%,” announced the DAC Director.

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“This is an uplift from the rates that had been previously recorded when the outbreak started so the unified effort has resulted in a massive increase of coverage.”

In related news, the BBC reports that anti-vaccination campaigner, Edwin Tamasese, has been arrested- charged with incitement against a government order.

Mr Tamasese had spoken out against vaccines on Facebook, instead promoting using ineffective remedies such as papaya leaf extract to treat the deadly illness.

Before his arrest, he had described the government’s mass vaccination programme as “the greatest crime against our people”, and falsely claimed vitamin C could cure the infected children.