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Outbreak update - Cholera in Yemen 16 January 2019

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16 January, 2019 - The Ministry of Public Health and Population of Yemen has reported 9119 suspected cholera cases, with 16 associated deaths, during epidemiological week 52 (24 – 30 December) in 2018. 11% were severe cases. The cumulative total number of suspected cholera cases from 1 January 2018 to 16 December 2018 is 369 133, with 504 associated deaths (CFR 0.14%). 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 10 664 stool samples collected during 2018, 3371 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, 15 stool samples from Amanat Al Asimah, Ibb, and Lahj tested and confirmed as positive for cholera.

From epidemiological weeks 49 to week 51, 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 only in Lahj governorates which reported 65 cases compared to 57 cases in week 51.  The governorates reporting more than 1000 cases per week are Sanaa (1246), Amanat Al Asimah (1132), Dhamar (1162), Arman (1158),and Al Hudaydah (1069).

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. 

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