American Samoa declares health emergency over measles

American Samoa has declared a public health emergency following measles outbreaks in Pacific countries like Samoa and Tonga.

Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga said the declaration covered the entire territory.

Lolo said effective immediately, all visitors entering American Samoa through Samoa or Tonga must provide proof of MMR immunisation, as a condition of entry.

All American Samoan residents travelling to affected countries would also be subject to Health Department screening.

The emergency declaration is valid for 30 days with the possibility of extension.

There are currently two suspected cases of measles in the territory.

The two are children under five from Samoa who arrived on the Lady Naomi on 31 October.

Neither had been immunised.

In neighbouring Samoa, there have been 628 suspected cases and at least seven deaths suspected to be related to the disease.