Outbreak update – Cholera in Yemen, 1 December 2019

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The Ministry of Public Health and Population of Yemen reported 10 787 suspected cases with two associated deaths during epidemiological week 48 (25 November – 1 December) of 2019 with 12% of the cases reported as severe. The cumulative total number of suspected cholera cases from 1 January 2018 to 1 December 2019 is 1 189 757, with 1513 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 313 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 46 and 48.

The governorates reporting the highest number of suspected cases of cholera during 2019 are Al Hudaydah (126 934), Amanat Al Asimah (104 952), Sana’a (102 294), Hajjah (73 984), Ibb (73 786), Dhamar (65 179) and Amran (49 381).

Of a total of 104 005 samples tested at the central public health laboratories since January 2019, 5292 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 (1459), Taizz (1384) and Sana’a (478).

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.