Yemen records 500,000 cholera cases: WHO

Author: ReutersMon, 2017-08-14 13:19ID: 1502731854100207900GENEVA: More than 500,000 people in Yemen have been infected with cholera since the epidemic began four months ago and 1,975 people have died, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.
Each day there are more than 5,000 new cases of the waterborne disease, which causes acute diarrhea and dehydration, in the country where the health system has collapsed, it said.
“The total number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen this year hit the 500,000 mark on Sunday, and nearly 2,000 people have died since the outbreak began to spread rapidly at the end of April,” the WHO said in a statement.
“The spread of cholera has slowed significantly in some areas compared to peak levels but the disease is still spreading fast in more recently affected districts, which are recording large numbers of cases,” it said, reporting a total of 503,484 cases.
The disease, spread by ingestion of food or water tainted with human faeces, can kill within hours if untreated. It has been largely eradicated in developed countries equipped with sanitation systems and water treatment.
Yemen’s 30,000 critical health workers have not been paid salaries in nearly a year and critical medicines are lacking, the WHO said.
“These doctors and nurses are the backbone of the health response — without them we can do nothing in Yemen. They must be paid their wages so that they can continue to save lives,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general.
WHO and partners are working around the clock to set up cholera treatment clinics, rehabilitate health facilities, deliver medical supplies and support the national effort, the UN agency said.
More than 99 percent of patients who reach health facilities survive but children and the elderly are most vulnerable.
“The response is working in some places. We can tell you that surveillance confirms a decline in suspected cases over the past four weeks in some of the most affected governorates,” WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told a news briefing last Friday.
“Most notably Sanaa city, Hajja and Amran are consistent with his decline. But in many other districts, cases and deaths persist and are on the rise.”
Main category: Middle-EastTags: WHOcholeraYemenGenevaWorld Health Organizationrelated_nodes: Yemen’s suspected cholera cases double to 4,000-plus: WHOYemen cholera to spread with rains; Oxfam sees 600,000 casesYemen cholera cases pass the 100,000 mark — WHO34 dead, 2,000 sick with suspected cholera in Yemen: WHO

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