Outbreak update – Cholera in Yemen, 24 May 2020

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3 June 2020 - The Ministry of Public Health and Population of Yemen reported 2489 suspected cases and one associated death during epidemiological week 21 (18 – 24 May) of 2020 with 16% of the cases reported as severe. The cumulative total number of suspected cholera cases from 1 January 2018 to 17 May 2020 is 1 368 325 with 1566 associated deaths (CFR 0.11%). Children under five represent 23% of the total suspected cases during 2020. The outbreak has affected 22 of the 23 governorates and 293 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. The number of suspected cases fluctuated over the following period with the trend now considered as decreasing during the past three weeks based on the average number of cases calculated between weeks 19 and 21.

The governorates reporting the highest number of suspected cases of cholera during 2020 are Al Hudaydah (21 612), Sana’a (20 620), Taizz (17 190), Ibb (13 350), Al Bayda (12 294), Amanat Al Asimah (10 869), Hajjah (9724), and Dhamar (9271).

Of a total of 935 samples tested at the central public health laboratories since January 2020, 76 have been confirmed as cholera-positive by culture. During this reporting period the governorates reporting the highest number of positive cultures were Taizz (49), Al Hudaydah (6), and Amran (5).

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.