AKIPRESS.COM - A measles epidemic in Samoa has killed 20 people - mainly children - as hundreds of new cases emerge across the Pacific Islands every day, Sky news reports.
In Samoa - the worst affected nation - a state of emergency has been declared as the government said 19 out of the 20 people who have died from measles are aged four and under.
The government said 202 cases were recorded in the 24 hours before Friday morning, including one death.
UNICEF said over the past few days almost five new cases have been diagnosed every hour.
A low vaccination rate has raised major concerns, as have parents turning to alternative healers in desperation.
Since the outbreak started at the end of October, 1,644 cases have been reported in Samoa, which has a population of just under 200,000.