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American Samoa has measles outbreak, declares public health emergency, schools lockdown

There has been at least one laboratory-confirmed and 31 suspected/probable cases of the highly contagious disease.

April 26, 2023 10:23am

Updated: April 26, 2023 10:23am

American Samoa has declared a public health emergency in response to a measles outbreak, which has resulted in the U.S. territory’ closing schools until at least May 12.

The emergency declaration was signed Monday by Gov. Lemanu P.S. Mauga on Monday is set to last for 30 days, expiring on May 24, according to ABC News. 

The decision to close the schools – which has sent home 12,00 students – was set by the Mauga administration's Education Department, 

The department has ordered those who tested positive to isolate for 21 days and has said those who could have been exposed might have to quarantine.

American Samoa experienced a similar measles outbreak in 2019 that lasted for 43 days, according to a World Health Organization report. 

Measles can spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, can cause symptoms such as high fever and rashes and can also lead to serious complications such as Pneumonia and Encephalitis,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

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