Information for Medical Practitioners

Government of Samoa

Ministry of Health


Key Points

  • Measles activity remains high in many districts with many severe cases in infants.
  • MoH Compulsory Measles Vaccination Campaign target groups: all children and teenagers aged 6 months to 19 years, and all non-pregnant women aged 20 to 35 years.
  • Please encourage your patients who are eligible to be vaccinated.
  • Encourage patients with mild symptoms to be cared for at home. Inform them of danger signs and the need to seek medical attention urgently if these develop.
  • We request please to use the MoH Measles Clinical and Surveillance Form to record and report cases.

Measles diagnosis and management

  • Measles is one of the most highly communicable infectious viral diseases, and transmitted by direct contact with infectious droplets or airborne spread. The incubation period is typically 10 after exposure (range 7 to 18 days).
  • Measles typically presents with a 2 to 4 day prodromal illness with fever, cough, coryza, and conjunctivitis. A maculopapular rash then begins on the face and neck and becomes generalised.
  • Measles in previously vaccinated people may present atypically, with milder symptoms and a slower progression to the rash
  • Cases are infectious from 4 days before the prodromal to 4 days after the onset of the rash.
  • Routine laboratory testing for measles is not recommended during widespread outbreaks.
  • Patients with moderate to severe symptoms and signs should be referred to hospital. In Apia, the TTM APCC (outpatients) is open 24 hours for measles cases.
  • Patients with milder symptoms can be cared for at home but family members need to be made aware of the danger signs that should prompt urgent medical review.

Vaccine – live attenuated vaccine and is highly efficacious. It generally well-tolerated. The risk of complications is low compared to the risk of complications from the disease, and 95% of the population is required for herd immunity

Complications :

  • Occurs in 10% of cases – including pneumonia, otitis media, croup and diarrhoea
  • Development of encephalitis in 1 in every 1000 patients, of whom 15% die
  • Approximately 30% have permanent neurological damage
  • Other complications include bronchiolitis, sinusitis, myocarditis, corneal ulcerations, mesenteric adenitis, ITP, and hepatitis
  • Measles in pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth and pre-term delivery


 The designated sites/times are:

Upolu Savai’i
Services operating from 9am to 8pm Monday – Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturday:

  • TTM Hospital
  • Faleolo District Health Center
  • Leulumoega District Health Center
  • Lufilufi District Health Center
  • Lalomanu District Health Center
  • Poutasi District Health Center
  • Saanapu District Health Center
  • Samoa Family Health Association
  • Wellness and Youth Friendly Centre at Matagialalua

Other clinics operating Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm and 9am to 1pm Saturday:

  • Samoa Tourism Authority Fale
  • Samoan Red Cross
Services operating from 9am to 8pm Monday – Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturday:

  • MT2 Hospital
  • Safotu District Health Center
  • Sataua District Health Center
  • Foailalo District Health Center
  • Satupaitea District Health Center


In addition, the regional mass vaccine fixed sites are being planned. Sites to be confirmed imminently.



  • Staff from the Ministry of Health will be collecting the Measles Clinical and Surveillance Form from your clinic on a daily basis.


  • For any further information, please contact the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) on 997/911 or visit the Samoa Ministry of Health website.