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Outbreak update – cholera in Yemen, 22 March 2018

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22 March 2018 – The Ministry of Public Health and Population of Yemen has recorded 3048 suspected cases of cholera, and 2 associated deaths in the country during week 11 (12 – 18 March) in 2018. The cumulative total of suspected cholera cases stands at 1 081 420 suspected cholera cases and 2267 associated deaths (case-fatality rate 0.21%) since April 2017.

The weekly trend for new cases is on the decline since September 2017, and the weekly proportion of severe cases has decreased to 11% of total new cases. During the reported period, the highest number of cases was reported from Al Bayda (412), Al Hudaydah (315), Amanat Al Asimah (342), Dhamar (674), and Ibb (486).

WHO continues to support the Ministry along with Health and WASH partners to contain the outbreak through technical and logistical support. This includes strengthening disease surveillance; supporting operations in diarrhoeal treatment centres and oral rehydration corners; training the health workforce in case management; deploying rapid response teams; improving availability of safe water and sanitation. 

Out of 2864 stool samples tested, 1113 tested positive for Vibrio cholerae bacteria. This is in addition to 34 965 rapid diagnostics tests (RDT) conducted in the community. 

Although cholera is endemic in Yemen, the country has experienced a surge in cholera cases since April 2017 due to ongoing conflict, destroyed health, water and sanitation infrastructure and malnutrition, which has led the population to be more vulnerable to various epidemic-prone diseases, including cholera.

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