Boy, not immunized, dies of measles at 18 months

An 18-month-old boy has died of measles in Berlin, the first known death in an outbreak of the disease that has seen more than 570 cases in the German capital since October.

An autopsy on the child, who died on Feb. 18 and wasn’t immunized against measles, showed he had an unspecified medical condition, but it wouldn’t have led to his death without the measles infection, the Charite hospital said Tuesday.

The German outbreak coincides with smaller ones in the United States, where 154 measles cases have been reported this year, three-quarters of them tied to an outbreak that started in Disneyland in December.

Authorities believe the Berlin measles infections began with a Bosnian child whose family was seeking asylum.

LAGOS, Nigeria

Masked gunmen kidnap American missionary

An American missionary working at a school in central Nigeria was kidnapped by masked gunmen Monday night, according to a statement from the Free Methodist Church and a spokesman for the state police, who said her kidnappers have not been identified.

The missionary, the Rev. Phyllis Sortor, was working as a teacher at Hope Academy in Kogi, a state that straddles northern and southern regions of Nigeria, where kidnapping is a multimillion-dollar business for gangs.

“Armed gunmen came into the compound and whisked her away,” said Kogi state police spokesman Sola Collins Adebayo. “They went for her – they shot into the air to scare people away from her and they took her.”

In a statement, the Free Methodist Church said that the State Department and the FBI “are working with local authorities to find and rescue” Sortor.

– From news service reports