2016–17 Yemen cholera outbreak

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Yemen Cholera Outbreak
Yemen on the globe (Yemen centered).svg
Map of Yemen on the globe
Disease Cholera
Bacteria strain Vibrio cholerae
Dates October 2016 – present
(11 months, 2 weeks and 3 days)
Origin Yemeni Civil War
Saudi-led intervention in Yemen (2015-present)
Deaths 2,003[1][2]
Confirmed cases 396,086[1][2]
Suspected cases 500,000[3]
Suspected cases have not been confirmed as being due to this strain by laboratory tests, although some other strains may have been ruled out.

In October 2016, an outbreak of cholera began in Yemen,[4] the outbreak was in decline by mid-March 2017,[5] but it has resurged since 27 April 2017,[6] and remains ongoing as of July 2017.[7][8][9] The resurgence is reportedly partly because the sewer system in the capital city, Sana'a, ceased functioning after airstrikes following Saudi intervention in the Yemeni Civil War.[10][11][12]


The cholera outbreak began in early October 2016,[4][13] the World Health Organization (WHO) considers the outbreak to be unusual in its rapid and wide geographical spread.[14] The earliest cases were predominantly in the capital, Sana'a, with some occurring in Aden.[4] By the end of October, cases had been reported in the governorates of Al-Bayda, Aden, Al-Hudaydah, Hajjah, Ibb, Lahij and Taiz[15] and, by late November, also in Al-Dhale'a and Amran.[16] By mid-December, 135 districts of 15 governorates had reported suspected cases, but nearly two-thirds were confined to Aden, Al-Bayda, Al-Hudaydah and Taiz.[17] By mid-January of the following year, 80% of cases were located in 28 districts of Al-Dhale'a, Al-Hudaydah, Hajjah, Lahij and Taiz.[14]

By the end of February 2017, the rate of spread in most areas had reduced,[18] and by mid-March 2017, the outbreak was in decline. A total of 25,827 suspected cases, including 129 deaths, had been reported by 26 April 2017.[13]

The number of cholera cases resurged after 27 April 2017,[8] during May, 74,311 suspected cases, including 605 deaths, were reported.[13] By 24 June 2017, UNICEF and WHO estimated that the total number of cases in the country since the outbreak began in October had exceeded 200,000, with 1,300 deaths, and that 5,000 new cases a day were occurring.[8][19][20] The two agencies stated that it was then "the worst cholera outbreak in the world".[8] Approximately half of the cases, and a quarter of the deaths were among children.[12]

As of 12 June 2017, the case fatality rate for the outbreak is 0.7%, with higher rates in people over 60 years old (3.2%).[21] The serotype of Vibrio cholerae involved is Ougawa.[21] A total of 268 districts from 20 of the country's 23 governorates had reported cases by 21 June 2017;[6] over half are from the governorates of Amanat Al Asimah (the capital Sana'a), Al Hudeideh, Amran and Hajjah, which are all located in the west of the country.[21]

On 23 June 2017, Saudi Arabia authorized a donation in excess of $66 million, while continuing its airstrikes and military operations in Yemen.[11]

By 4 July 2017, there are 269,608 cases and the death toll is 1,614 with a total case fatality rate of 0.6%.[7]

From 27 April to 14 August there were nearly 2,000 documented death cases from cholera.[22]

On 14 August 2017 the WHO updated the number of suspected cholera cases to 500,000.[3]

On 5 September 2017, the World Health Organization updated that number to 612,703 cases, with the death toll standing at 2,048.[23]

Associated factors[edit]

UNICEF and WHO attributed the outbreak to malnutrition and collapsing sanitation and clean water systems due to the country's ongoing conflict.[8] An ICRC worker in Yemen noted that April's cholera resurgence began ten days after Sana'a's sewer system stopped working,[12] the impacts of the outbreak have been reported to have been exacerbated by the collapse of the Yemeni health services, where many health workers have remained unpaid for months.[12] The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the UN have pointed to the naval and aerial blockade and bombing campaign by the Saudi-led coalition and the United States Navy as central causes behind the preventable cholera epidemic.[24][25]

With the right medicines, these [diseases] are all completely treatable – but the Saudi Arabia-led coalition is stopping them from getting in.

— Grant Pritchard, Save the Children's interim country director for Yemen, April 2017, Vice News[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Epidemiology bulletin 36, 16 July 2017" (PDF). WHO-EMRO. Retrieved 4 July 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Yemen cholera epidemic slowing after infecting 400,000". Reuters. 25 July 2017. 
  3. ^ a b McNeil Jr, Donald G (14 August 2017). "More Than 500,000 Infected With Cholera in Yemen". NY Times. Retrieved 14 August 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c "Cholera cases in Yemen". World Health Organization. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  5. ^ "Weekly update: cholera cases in Yemen, 21 March 2017". World Health Organization. 21 March 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  6. ^ a b "Weekly update – cholera in Yemen, 22 June 2017". World Health Organization. 22 June 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  7. ^ a b "Epidemiology bulletin 26, 4 July 2017" (PDF). WHO-EMRO. Retrieved 4 July 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Statement from UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on the cholera outbreak in Yemen as suspected cases exceed 200,000". UNICEF. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  9. ^ "Statement from UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and WHO Director-General Margaret Chan on the cholera outbreak in Yemen as suspected cases exceed 200,000". World Health Organization. 24 June 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Liautaud, Alexa (23 June 2017). "Saudi Arabia donates to end Yemen cholera outbreak it helped start". Vice News. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Gladstone, Rick (23 June 2017). "Saudis, at War in Yemen, Give Country $66.7 Million in Cholera Relief". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 July 2017. 
  12. ^ a b c d Bruwer, Johannes (25 June 2017). "The horrors of Yemen's spiralling cholera crisis". BBC News. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c "Cholera situation in Yemen: May 2017" (PDF). World Health Organization. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  14. ^ a b "Weekly update: cholera cases in Yemen". World Health Organization. 15 January 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  15. ^ "Update on the cholera situation in Yemen, 30 October 2016". World Health Organization. 30 October 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  16. ^ "Cholera cases in Yemen, 24 November 2016". World Health Organization. 24 November 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  17. ^ "Weekly update: cholera cases in Yemen". World Health Organization. 22 December 2016. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  18. ^ "Update on cholera in Yemen". World Health Organization. 26 February 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  19. ^ "UN: 1,310 dead in Yemen cholera epidemic". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  20. ^ "Yemen faces world's worst cholera outbreak – UN". BBC News. 25 June 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  21. ^ a b c "Yemen: Cholera outbreak response: Situation report No. 3" (PDF). World Health Organization. 12 June 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  22. ^ "Cholera count reaches 500 000 in Yemen". World Health Organization. Retrieved 2017-08-17. 
  23. ^ "Yemen's cholera epidemic hits 600,000, confounding expectations". Reuters. 2017-09-05. Retrieved 2017-09-06. 
  24. ^ "'Entirely preventable': Aid agencies blame Yemen blockade, economic collapse for cholera outbreak". RT. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2017. 
  25. ^ "Aid agencies blame Saudi war, blockade for cholera outbreak in Yemen". Press TV. 16 May 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2017.