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Outbreak update - Cholera in Yemen, 7 March 2019

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7 March 2019 - The Ministry of Public Health and Population of Yemen reported 6718 suspected cases of cholera with eight associated deaths during epidemiological week 7 (11 – 17 February ) of 2019. Severe cases constitute 12 percent the total. The cumulative total number of suspected cholera cases from 1 January 2018 to 17 February 2019 is 428 317, with 560 associated deaths (CFR 0.13%). Children under five represent 31.0% of total suspected cases. The outbreak has affected 22 of 23 governorates and 311 of 333 districts in Yemen.

From week 4 to week 6 in 2019, the trend of weekly reported suspected cholera cases decreased by 13% at the country level, although 224 districts have reported suspected cholera cases within the last three weeks. The governorates reporting the highest number of suspected cases of cholera during this reporting period were Amanat Al Asimah (1152), Al Hudaydah (852), Ibb(775), Dhamar (671), Arman (597), and Sana’a (591). 

Of a total 11 577 samples collected since January 2018, 3683 have been confirmed as cholera-positive by culture at the central public health laboratories in Al Hudaydah, Sana’a, Taizz, and Aden governorates. During this reporting period, 18 stool samples – from Sana’a (7), Al Mahwit (4), Amran (3), Al Dhale’e (2) and Dhamar (2) – tested positive. 

WHO continues to provide leadership and support for activities with health authorities and partners to respond to this ongoing cholera outbreak, including case management, surveillance, laboratory investigations, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and risk communication.