Outbreak update – Cholera in Yemen, 02 August 2020

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19 August 2020 - The Ministry of Public Health and Population of Yemen reported 2146 suspected cases and one associated death during epidemiological week 31 ( 27 July to 2 August) of 2020 with 18% of the cases reported as severe. The cumulative total number of suspected cholera cases from 1 January to 2 August 2020 is 167 278 with 48 associated deaths (CFR 0.03%). Children under five represent 24% of the total suspected cases during 2020. The outbreak has affected 22 of the 23 governorates and 296 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. Less cases have been reported in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 showing 70% reduction. Currently, the trend is considered as decreasing based on the average number of cases calculated between in the past 3 weeks (29 to 31).

The governorates reporting the highest number of suspected cases of cholera during 2020 are Al Hudaydah (26 936), Sana’a (24 593), and Taizz (20 038). An increased trend in the reported cases was illustrated in Marib.

Of a total of 1069 samples cultured at the central public health laboratories since January 2020, 87 have been confirmed as cholera-positive. During this reporting period the governorates reporting the highest number of positive cultures were Taizz (57), Al Hudaydah (8) and Amran (6).

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.