Yemen cholera cases soar past half-million: WHO

August 14, 2017

Cholera is believed to have affected more than 500,000 people and killed nearly 2,000 since late April, the World Health Organization said Monday.

A full 503,484 suspected cases and 1,975 deaths are attributable to the outbreak that erupted less than four months ago in the war-ravaged country, a WHO overview showed.

More than a quarter of the deaths and over 41 percent of all suspected cases are children, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

WHO said the speed at which the deadly waterborne disease was spreading had slowed significantly since early July, but warned that it was still affecting an estimated 5,000 people each day.

The collapse of Yemen's infrastructure after more than two years of war between the Saudi-backed government and Shiite rebels who control the capital Sanaa has allowed the country's to swell to the largest in the world.

WHO warned that the disease had spread rapidly due to deteriorating hygiene and sanitation conditions, with millions of people cut off from clean water across the country.

"Yemen's health workers are operating in impossible conditions," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

"Thousands of people are sick, but there are not enough hospitals, not enough medicines, not enough clean water," he said, also lamenting that many of the doctors and nurses needed to rein in the outbreak had not been paid for nearly a year.

"They must be paid their wages so that they can continue to save lives," he said.

WHO said that it and its partners were "working around the clock" to support the national efforts to halt the outbreak, adding that more than 99 percent of people who contract cholera in Yemen can survive if they can access health services.

More than 15 million people in the country have no access to basic healthcare.

Tedros called on all sides in Yemen's conflict, which has killed more than 8,300 people since March 2015, to urgently seek a political solution.

"The people of Yemen cannot bear it much longer - they need peace to rebuild their lives and their country," he said.

Explore further: Cholera kills 315 in Yemen in less than month: WHO

Related Stories

Cholera kills 315 in Yemen in less than month: WHO

May 22, 2017
Cholera has killed 315 people in Yemen in under a month, the World Health Organization has said, as another aid organisation warned Monday the outbreak could become a "full-blown epidemic".

Yemen cholera outbreak tops 300,000 suspected cases: ICRC

July 10, 2017
A cholera outbreak in Yemen has now surpassed 300,000 suspected cases, the Red Cross said Monday as the war-torn country reels from disease as well as the threat of famine.

34 dead of suspected cholera as Yemen outbreak spreads

May 9, 2017
Thirty-four people have died of cholera-related causes and more than 2,000 have been taken ill in Yemen, as humanitarian organisations warned Tuesday that the outbreak could spiral out of countrol.

UN: Yemen unlikely to get cholera vaccine as first planned

July 11, 2017
U.N. officials said Tuesday that plans to ship as many as 1 million doses of cholera vaccine to Yemen are likely to be shelved over security, access and logistical challenges, even as the deadly caseload continues to balloon ...

Yemen famine risk rising as cholera diverts resources: UN

July 6, 2017
Aid groups have pulled resources from the fight against malnutrition to battle cholera in Yemen, raising the risk of famine as they struggle to find funds, a UN official said Thursday.

ICRC says 600,000 Yemenis could contract cholera in 2017

July 23, 2017
More than 600,000 people are expected to contract cholera in Yemen this year, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned Sunday as the war-torn country's healthcare system faces collapse.

Recommended for you

Deadly Rift Valley fever: New insight, and hope for the future

July 19, 2018
Health control measures alone could be ineffective in the long term fight against the deadly Rift Valley fever which affects both humans and animals, a new study in the journal PNAS reports.

New guidelines to diagnose, manage rare endocrine disorders

July 19, 2018
International guidelines have been published for the first time to help doctors around the globe diagnose and manage patients with a very rare set of endocrine diseases known as pseudohypoparathyroidism and its related disorders, ...

Overuse of antibiotics not what the doctor ordered

July 19, 2018
With increased use of antibiotics worldwide linked to growing antibiotic resistance, a world-first study co-authored by a QUT researcher has highlighted the growing impact of non-prescription supply of antibiotics in community ...

Alcohol-related cirrhosis deaths skyrocket in young adults

July 18, 2018
Deaths from cirrhosis rose in all but one state between 1999-2016, with increases seen most often among young adults, a new study shows.

Hidden blood in feces may signal deadly conditions

July 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Even if it's not visible to the naked eye, blood in the stool can be serious—a sign of a potentially fatal disease other than colon cancer, new research suggests.

Childhood abuse linked to greater risk of endometriosis, study finds

July 17, 2018
Endometriosis, a painful condition that affects one in 10 reproductive-age women in the U.S., has been linked to childhood physical and sexual abuse, according to findings published today in the journal Human Reproduction.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.