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World's Largest Cholera Outbreak: 1 Million Cases in Yemen

| Dec 23, 2017 07:37 PM EST

It is the world's largest recorded outbreak of infectious disease: In Yemen, the number of cholera cases is one million. But: The spread slows down.

Only on Thursday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced that the number of suspected cases of cholera has risen to one million. The World Health Organization (WHO) spoke of 998,000 infectious disease suspected cases - 2227 people had died of cholera due to the devastating humanitarian situation.

In the civil war country of Yemen, the outbreak of dangerous diarrheal disease had picked up speed starting in April of this year and quickly reached the hundred thousand mark, the WHO said. But in the past three months, the increase in suspected cases has slowed significantly. According to the information, 16.4 of the approximately 28 million Yemenis living in the desperately poor country on the Arabian Peninsula have no access to medical care.
Cholera is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which is transmitted through contaminated water or food. Medicines can significantly reduce the mortality rate. The epidemic in Yemen is the world's largest recorded outbreak so far.

Civil war in Yemen: cholera outbreak aggravates the situation

According to UN data, more than 20 million people in Yemen need help, and at least seven million are facing famine. In many parts of the country, the infrastructure and health facilities have been largely destroyed by the years of civil war.
In Yemen, a Saudi-led military coalition supports the country's internationally recognized government and flies attacks on the Houthi rebels. These control large parts, especially in the north of the country.
In total, more than 5600 civilians have died in the civil war since March 2015, according to the United Nations. The organization Action Against Hunger said Thursday that they had to restrict their work in the port city of Hodeida because of fighting near the city.

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