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Outbreak update – Cholera in Yemen, 17 November 2019

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14 January 2020 - The Ministry of Public Health and Population of Yemen reported 11 531 suspected cases with four associated deaths during epidemiological week 46 (11 – 17 November) of 2019 with 11% of the cases reported as severe. The cumulative total number of suspected cholera cases from 1 January 2018 to 17 November 2019 is 1 165 823, with 1511 associated deaths (case-fatality rate of 0.13%). Children under five represent 26.1% of the total suspected cases during 2019. The outbreak has affected 22 of the 23 governorates and 311 of the 333 districts of Yemen.

Suspected cholera cases at the country level started to be increasingly reported from week eight of 2019 and the trend continued until week 14 when the number of cases reached more than 29 500, the highest number of cases reported so far in a single week. The number of suspected cases fluctuated over the following period with the trend now considered as stable during the past three weeks based on the average number of cases calculated between weeks 44 and 46.

The governorates reporting the highest number of suspected cases of cholera during 2019 are Al Hudaydah (122 717), Amanat Al Asimah (102 058), Sana’a (98 683), Hajjah (72 288), Ibb (71 344), Dhamar (63 542) and Amran (48 387).

Of a total of 102 595 samples tested at the central public health laboratories since January 2019, 5207 have been confirmed as cholera-positive by culture. During this reporting period the governorates reporting the highest number of positive cultures were Amanat Al Asimah (1410), Taizz (1372) and Sana’a (470).

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 and laboratory investigations; hotspot mapping and oral cholera vaccine (OCV) campaign planning; water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH); and risk communication.