53 dead in measles outbreak in Samoa, vast majority aged under four

The death toll from a measles outbreak in Samoa climbed to 53, the government said on Monday, as the number of people infected in the small Pacific nation grows by more than a hundred a day.

The vast majority of deaths were of children, with 48 under the age of four dying from the disease, according to a government update.

More than 3,700 cases of measles have been recorded in the islands' population of around 200,000, with 198 new cases between Sunday and Monday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned in October of a devastating comeback in measles epidemics around the world as the number of reported cases rose by 300 percent in the first three months of this year.