Epidemic and pandemic-prone diseases | Outbreaks | Cholera | Outbreak update – cholera in Yemen, 8 February 2018

Outbreak update – cholera in Yemen, 8 February 2018

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8 February 2018 - The Ministry of Public Health and Population of Yemen has reported 4,920 suspected cases including 4 associated deaths related to cholera in the country for week 4 (22 – 28 January). The cumulative total of suspected cholera cases stands at 1 051 789 suspected cholera cases and 2,252 associated deaths (case-fatality rate 0.21%) since April 2017.

The number of cases has been on the decline for the past 20 consecutive weeks. The proportion of severe cases has also decreased significantly, now representing only 9% of admitted cases. Out of 305 districts, 198 still report suspected cholera cases, whereas 107 districts have not reported new cases for the last three consecutive weeks. The five governorates with the highest cumulative attack rates are Amran, Al Mahwit, Al Dhale’e, Hajjah and Sana’a.

WHO, Health cluster and WASH partners continue to support the Ministry in responding and containing the outbreak through technical and logistic support to improve the response efforts at the national and local levels. This includes training the health workforce in case management and rapid response; supporting diarrhoea treatment centres and oral rehydration points; deploying rapid response teams; ensuring availability of safe water; and sensitizing and mobilizing the community for early reporting of cases to the health facilities. 

In addition, the support provided for laboratories in sampling and diagnostics ability has greatly improved early laboratory detection and quick sharing of results. Diagnostic culture tests conducted in the labs confirmed cholera for 1,102 of 2706 samples. This is in addition to 28 410 rapid diagnostics tests (RDT) conducted in the community to confirm presence of cholera.

While cholera is endemic in Yemen, the country has experienced a surge in cholera cases since April 2017. Ongoing conflict, destroyed health, water and sanitation infrastructure and malnutrition have caused the people to be more vulnerable to various epidemic-prone diseases, including cholera.