Number of Suspected Cholera Cases in Yemen Passes Threshold of One Mln – ICRC

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The current epidemic is the largest cholera outbreak in modern history. A spike in cholera cases began in October 2016 and then after a period of decline the outbreak resumed in April. As of August 24, over 540,000 suspected cholera cases had been reported, with over 2,000 associated deaths. 

On average, some 5,000 people were falling ill daily, with children under 15 accounting for 41 percent of all suspected cases while people over 60 represented 30 percent of fatalities. Currently, a child under the age of 5 dies every 10 minutes of preventable causes.

The spread of disease is exarcebated by starvation and unsanitary conditions in the country, as Saudi Arabia tightened the blockade of Yemen, which hampered the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the civilians.

Yemen has been engulfed in a bitter conflict between the government and Houthi rebels supported by the army loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh since 2015, with a coalition backed by Saudi Arabia conducting an aerial operation in the country at the request of incumbent President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

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