Babies die from suspected measles in Samoa

Two babies and a 37-year-old have died from suspected measles in Samoa.

Samoa's Ministry of Health said as of October 27, there were 15 confirmed cases of measles and 314 suspected.

A 14-month-old, eight-month-old, and 37-year-old have died, with the ministry saying the deaths are suspected to be measles-related. 

A measles epidemic was declared in Samoa on October 16. It's reported the disease reached the Pacific nation after someone from Auckland - which is experiencing an outbreak - visited Samoa.

The majority are children suspected to have measles are under four, with 79 percent living on the island of Upolu.

"The Ministry of Health continues to encourage the public to get their measles vaccinations if they have not been vaccinated against measles or have not previously contacted measles," officials said.

"We wish to remind the public that the measles virus is very contagious. The measles virus can be spread by an infected person through the air through breathing, coughing or sneezing. It is important for the public to remain alert for any signs or symptoms of measles."