On Thursday, August 30, the UN reported an increase in the rate in the reporting of new suspected cases of cholera in Yemen as the total cases since January has reached 120,000. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric warned of a possible third wave of the epidemic as new cases rise. Current rains and renewed fighting near Al-Hudaydah threaten to exacerbate the situation. The statement follows a similar warning given by the World Health Organization (WHO) earlier in August.
Since April 2017, 1.1 million suspected cases of cholera have been reported, resulting in 2,310 deaths. The military conflict between Saudi-led pro-government coalition and Houthi rebels since May 2015 has resulted in a political and humanitarian crisis that has left 10,000 people dead and 8 million Yemenis near a state of famine.
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.