New cases of cholera are expected to increase in Yemen over the next few months during the rainy season, which lasts from mid-April through August. The number of potential new cases could reach in the millions and exceed the number infected with the disease in previous waves of the outbreak (i.e. from September 2016 to April 2017, and from April 2017 to July 2017).
Over 1 million suspected cases of cholera have been recorded in Yemen - as well as over 2000 associated deaths - since 2016.
The collapse of Yemen's infrastructure amid the ongoing war between the Saudi-backed government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Houthi rebels has created what the WHO has called a "perfect storm" for diseases. Several UN agencies have declared the ongoing crisis in Yemen to be the "worst humanitarian crisis in the world."
Cholera is an infectious disease caused by the Vibrio cholerae bacterium that 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.
Individuals planning travel to or in Yemen are strongly advised to receive cholera vaccinations. It is also advised to stock up on food and bottled water, and conserve water as much as possible.
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.