A surge in the number of cholera cases in the western province of Hodeida has been reported amid intensifying fighting between Houthi rebels and pro-governmental forces as of fall 2018. At least 1342 cholera cases were reported in August, a significant jump from the 497 cases recorded in June. Further spread of the disease is likely in the coming weeks.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 154,500 suspected and confirmed cases of cholera have been reported in Yemen in 2018. Between April 2017 and September 2018, around 2450 people have died from this preventable disease.
Cholera is an infectious disease caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacterium, which can induce acute diarrhea. The risk of death is greatest among people with compromised immune systems, such as malnourished children or those living with HIV. However, even among healthy adults, cholera can be fatal within a matter of hours.
The military conflict between the Saudi-led pro-government coalition and Houthi rebels has been ongoing since May 2015 and has resulted in a political and humanitarian crisis that has left approximately 10,000 people dead and 8 million Yemenis near a state of famine.
Individuals planning travel to or in Yemen are strongly advised to consult with a doctor concerning vaccination against cholera. To reduce the risk of contracting cholera, wash hands regularly, drink only bottled or purified water, and avoid eating raw or undercooked foods. Individuals who believe they may have contracted cholera should seek immediate medical attention.
The security environment throughout the country remains complex, and due to poor security conditions, most Western governments strongly advise their citizens against all travel to Yemen. Travel to the country should only be considered with proper security protocols in place, and professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
Copyright and Disclaimer