Middle East

Yemen faces new surge in cholera cases: UN


Yemen faces a possible third wave of a cholera epidemic, the UN warned Thursday, following a jump in the number of suspected cases over recent weeks.

Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said current rains were increasing the risk of infection in the war-torn country, which has seen 1.1 million suspected cases since last April.

“The number of suspected cholera cases has been increasing over the last two months in Yemen,” he said.

“Between the beginning of the year and mid-August 2018, nearly 120,000 suspected cases have been reported.

“Although this figure is lower than during the same period in 2017, the increasing rate of infections over recent weeks is raising concerns of a possible third wave of the epidemic.”

Dujarric confirmed that medical supplies to treat over half a million people were ready for use in high risk areas.

The UN’s warning follows that of the World Health Organization (WHO), which raised the alarm for a potential major surge in infections earlier this month.

The UN has described the situation in Yemen as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Since March 2015, when the Saudi-led coalition intervened to support government forces against Iran-backed Houthi rebels, the conflict has left over 10,000 people dead, and plunged over 8 million Yemenis into near-famine.

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