Outbreak update – Cholera in Yemen, 31 January 2019

31 January, 2019 - The Ministry of Public Health and Population of Yemen has reported 9140 suspected cases and 12 associated deaths during epidemiological week 1 (31 December 2018 – 6 January) in 2019. 10% are severe cases. The cumulative total number of suspected cholera cases from 1 January 2018 to 6 January 2019 is 379 288 and 517 associated deaths (CFR 0.14%). Children under five represent 32.0% of the total suspected cases. 22 of 23 governorates and 312 of 333 districts in Yemen have been affected by the outbreak.

From week 50 to week 52 in 2018, the trend of weekly reported suspected cholera cases was decreasing at 12%. However, 226 districts still reported suspected cholera cases within the last three weeks. In this reporting period, upward trends were observed in Lahj, where 75 suspected cholera cases were reported. The governorates reporting more than 1000 suspected cases are Al Hudaydah (1823), Amanat Al Asimah (1058), and Arman (1039).

To date, out of 10 782 samples collected since January 2018, 3400 cases have been confirmed as cholera-positive by culture at the central public health laboratories in Al Hudaydah, Sana’a, Taizz, and Aden governorates. This reporting period, 17 stool samples from Amanat Al Asimah and Taizz tested positive.

The current cholera outbreak in Yemen is the worst one in history. WHO continues to provide leadership and support to health authorities and partners to mitigate the outbreak, including case management, surveillance, laboratory investigations, water sanitation, hygiene (WASH) and risk communication.