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Exporting Death: New Zealand confirmed as likely source of Samoa’s measles outbreak
by Eileen
Friday Dec 13th, 2019 10:23 PM
"Infectious diseases de-populated many isolated Pacific islands when they were first exposed to global pathogen circulation from the 18th century," Professor G. Dennis Shanks of Australian Army Malaria Institute wrote.
"God alone will not send such an epidemic," he cited the Samoan chief in 1918 as saying.
New Zealand likely source of Samoa’s measles outbreak –MFAT

New Zealand is likely the source of Samoa’s measles epidemic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) has confirmed.

At least 5,080 measles cases have been reported since the outbreak with 85 recorded in the last 24 hours. To date, 72 measles related deaths have been recorded, Government of Samoa said in its latest update.

On December 5, the number of reported measles cases was 4,217 with 62 related deaths.

Latest update: 5,080 measles cases have been reported since the outbreak with 85 recorded in the last 24 hours. To date, 72 measles related deaths have been recorded.

VACCINATION UPDATE: As of 12 Dec, 93% of population have been vaccinated.

— Government of Samoa (@samoagovt) December 12, 2019
https://twitter.com/samoagovt/status/1205249947689373696

In "Pacific Island Societies Destabilised by Infectious Diseases" Prof G. Dennis Shanks MD writes:
"Infectious diseases de-populated many isolated Pacific islands when they were first exposed to global pathogen circulation from the 18th century. [...] In at least two instances, measles in Fiji in 1875 and influenza in Samoa in 1918, the island leadership died at a much higher rate than the general population. [...] Sudden loss of their leadership during an infectious disease epidemic destabilised small island societies, compounding their fatal impact."

"The two specific instances of such destabilisaion as seen on Fiji in 1875 and Samoa in 1918 along with other historical losses of hereditary island leaders due to infectious diseases are reviewed in order to better understand what might happen during newly emerging infectious disease epidemics."

"Inter-tribal conflict led to many of the senior chiefs of Fiji signing an article of cession to the British Empire in 1874, thus becoming a British protectorate with a governor."

"God alone will not send such an epidemic," the author cited the Samoan chief in 1918 as saying.
https://jmvh.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Pacific-Island-Societies.pdf

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