On Friday, December 7, health authorities in Yemen reported 12,289 new suspected cases of cholera and ten associated deaths between November 5 and November 11. Since April 2017, over 1.2 million suspected cases of cholera have been reported, resulting in 2510 deaths. The governorates of Al Mahwit, Ibb, Hajjah, Al Jawf, and Aden have seen an increase in suspected cholera cases, while Sana'a, Amran, Ibb, Dhamar, and Amanat Al Asimah registered the highest number of cases. The WHO continues to support the Yemeni Ministry of Public Health and Population to contain the outbreak and strengthen disease surveillance. Further spread of the disease is to be anticipated in the coming weeks.
The conflict between the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels ongoing since May 2015 has resulted in a political and humanitarian crisis that has left 10,000 people dead and 8 million Yemenis at risk 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. 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.
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