Outbreak update – Cholera in Yemen, 20 October 2019

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19 November 2019 - The Ministry of Public Health and Population of Yemen reported 14 347 suspected cases and eight associated deaths during epidemiological week 42 (14–20 October) of 2019 with 13% of the cases reported as severe. The cumulative total number of suspected cholera cases from 1 January 2018 to 20 October 2019 is 1 119 836, with 1485 associated deaths (CFR 0.13%). Children under five represent 26% of total suspected cases during 2019. The outbreak has affected 22 of the 23 governorates and 311 of 333 districts in Yemen.

Suspected cholera cases started to be increasingly reported in 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. Since then the number of suspected cases has been fluctuating over the following weeks, with the trend considered as stable at the country level between weeks 40 and 42 based on the average number of cases calculated for that time period.

Governorates reporting the highest number of suspected cases of cholera during 2019 are Al Hudaydah (113 190), Amanat Al Asimah (99 042), Sana’a (92 080), Hajjah (68 693), Ibb (66 986), Dhamar (60 772) and Amran (46 164).

Of a total of 99 906 samples tested at the central public health laboratories since January 2019, 4880 have been confirmed as cholera-positive by culture. During this reporting period the governorates reporting the highest number of positive culture were Amanat Al Asimah (1337), Taizz (1316) and Sana’a (457).

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.