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Outbreak update - Cholera in Yemen 16 December 2018

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8 January, 2019 - The Ministry of Public Health and Population of Yemen has reported 11 735 suspected cholera cases, with 25 associated deaths, during epidemiological week 50 (10 – 16 December) in 2018. 10% were severe cases. The cumulative total number of suspected cholera cases from 1 January 2018 to 16 December 2018 is 348 286, with 466 associated deaths (CFR 0.13%). Children under five years of age represent 32.0% of the total suspected cases. 22 of 23 governorates and 312 of 333 districts in Yemen have been affected by the outbreak. To date, out of 10 412 stool samples collected during 2018, 3256 have been confirmed as cholera positive by culture at the central public health laboratories in Al Hudaydahm Sana’a, Taizz, and Aden governorates. In this reporting period, 42 stool samples from Amanat Al Asimah, Ibb, Sanaa, Dhamar and Taizz tested and confirmed as positive for cholera. 

From epidemiological weeks 47 to week 49, the trend of weekly reported suspected cholera cases was stable at country level, but 227 districts out of 333 districts in the country have reported suspected cholera cases within the last three weeks. In this latest reporting period, upward trends were observed in Al Jawf and Abyan governorates. The governorates reporting more than 1000 cases per week are Sanaa (1577), Amanat Al Asimah (1482), Al Hudaydah (1445), Dhamar (1411), Arman (1358), and Ibb (1230).

The cholera outbreak in Yemen has been one of the worst cholera epidemics in recent history. WHO continues to provide leadership and support to health authorities and partners to mitigate the outbreak, including case management, surveillance, laboratory investigations, water sanitation, hygiene (WASH) and risk communication.