Outbreak update – Cholera in Yemen, 26 January 2020

25 February 2020 - The Ministry of Public Health and Population of Yemen reported 8095 suspected cases and four associated death during epidemiological week 4 (20 – 26 January) of 2020 with 12% of the cases reported as severe. The cumulative total number of suspected cholera cases from 1 January 2018 to 26 January 2020 is 1 262 722, with 1543 associated deaths (CFR 0.12%). Children under five represent 26% of the total suspected cases during 2019. The outbreak has affected 22 of the 23 governorates and 318 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 stable during the past three weeks based on the average number of cases calculated between weeks 2 and 4.

The governorates reporting the highest number of suspected cases of cholera during 2019 are Al Hudaydah (138 772), Sana’a (114 064), Amanat Al Asimah (110 850), Ibb (81 264), Hajjah (79 288) , Dhamar (70 003), Taizz (59 365) Amran (52 577).

Of a total of 10 281 samples tested at the central public health laboratories since January 2019, 5399 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 (1485), Taizz (1420), and Sana’a (481).

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.