Measles stops Samoa trip

The Otago Museum has postponed a planned educational trip to Samoa, because of the country's worsening measles epidemic.

New Zealand, at the request of the Samoan Government, will provide 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines and 12 nurses to help contain the "serious and growing" outbreak, RNZ has reported.

There have now been six confirmed deaths and more than 700 suspected measles cases in Samoa, and a further 15 people are in intensive care.

Museum director visitor experience and science engagement Craig Grant said an educational trip planned for later this year had been postponed until about April-May next year.

Given the seriousness of the measles situation in Samoa, the early ending of the Samoan school year and a health protection ban on large groups gathering in one place, it was clearly "sensible" to delay the trip, which aimed to raise awareness of climate change issues, he said.

The museum's popular "Far From Frozen" exhibition had already featured in educational outreach trips to schools in Tonga in June and Fiji in September.

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