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A child receives a measles vaccine. DFID - UK Department for International Development / CC BY 2.0

Measles infected nearly 10 million people in 2018 and killed more than 140,000, according to new estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most of the people who died were children under five years old.

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Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi asked for the public's help in making sure that people get vaccinated during the two days that government offices are closed. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP / Getty Images

The government of Samoa will shut down its offices for two days this week so civil servants can focus on a nationwide immunization drive after almost 4,000 confirmed cases of measles have swept across the small Pacific nation of just 200,000 people, as NPR reported. So far 55 people have died, 50 of them are children under four, according to The Guardian.

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(L) 3D graphical representation of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle that is studded with glycoprotein tubercles.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC

The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.

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A measure that would fine parents who refuse to vaccinate their children passed Germany's parliament Thursday. Self Magazine / CC BY 2.0

A measure that would fine parents who refuse to vaccinate their children for measles close to $2,800 passed Germany's parliament Thursday, the Associated Press reported.

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Female doctor pediatrician with baby patient. Lordn / iStock / Getty Images

By Julia Ries

  • The measles virus was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000.
  • But if more cases of the measles virus are detected next month, it could mean an end of that elimination status.
  • There have been more than 1,200 measles cases this year so far. That's the largest number of cases since 1992.
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Samara Heisz / iStock / Getty Images

New York state has joined California, West Virginia, Arizona, Mississippi and Maine in ending religious exemptions for parents who prefer not to vaccinate their children, The New York Times reported.

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In the fight against the further spread of measles, pupils at two schools in Hildesheim had to present their vaccination certificates Monday, March 18. Christophe Gateau / picture alliance / Getty Images

Germany, like the U.S., is in the midst of a measles outbreak. The country has seen 651 cases of the disease between March 2018 and February of this year, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the sixth most of any country in the EU.

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The Freewinds, a Scientology-owned cruise ship currently quarantined over a measles scare, in Aruba in 2014. Roger Wollstadt / CC BY-SA 2.0

A cruise ship reportedly owned by the Church of Scientology has been quarantined in the port of St. Lucia after a case of measles was confirmed on board, health officials said Wednesday. There are almost 300 passengers and crew on the ship, which has the same name as a ship owned by the church, NBC News reported.

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