Canberra - At least 53 people, mostly children, have died in Samoa due to a measles outbreak since last month, despite a state of emergency being in place, the Pacific island government said.
According to the latest update on Monday, 3,728 measles cases had been reported since the outbreak of the infectious disease, the Samoan ministry of health said.
Monday's death toll of 53 is up from 20 reported a week ago. All but four of the deaths recorded were children under the age of 4, the Samoan government said in a press release.
Five fatalities were in the last 24 hours, the government said, and 198 new cases had been reported since Saturday.
Since mid-November, the government has declared a state of emergency and closed schools and a university. Anyone aged under 19 is barred from public gatherings.