The number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen has ballooned to 1,410 within three weeks of the outbreak being declared, the World Health Organization said on Friday, as 18 months of war has destroyed most health facilities and clean water supplies.
Yemen’s Health Ministry announced the outbreak on Oct. 6 in Sanaa city, and by Oct. 10 the WHO said there were 24 suspected cases. The following day, a WHO official in Yemen said there was “no spread of the disease”.
But on Friday, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told a Geneva news briefing that as of Thursday there were 1,410 suspected cholera cases in 10 out of Yemen’s 23 governorates - mostly in Taiz, Aden, Lahj, Hodeida and Sanaa.
The conflict between a Saudi Arabia-led coalition and the Iran-aligned Houthi group which controls much of northern Yemen, including Sanaa, has destroyed much of Yemen’s infrastructure, killed more than 10,000 people and displaced millions.