Yemen in Grip of World’s Worst Cholera Outbreak
After nearly two-and-a-half years of war, Yemen is in the grip of a new battle – the world’s worst cholera outbreak.
The disease, which should have been left in the 19th century, is spreading at a terrifying rate.
Pictures released by the United Nations show a hospital overwhelmed with so many victims they are being treated in corridors.
There are 5,000 new cases of cholera across Yemen every day.
And the highly infectious bacterial infection can kill within hours if left untreated.
320,000 cholera cases in Yemen since April
1,700 people have already died from the disease
Children make up 42% of cases and a quarter of fatalities.
Dr Ismail Almansor told ITV News he receives two or three cholera patients a minute at the Al Sabeen Hospital in Sana’a.
“Most are women or children. They come so late as they have no money.
“Because of that, their kidneys fail.”
As war grinds on, Yemen’s infrastructure is in shreds.
The UN says all sides are to blame for the cholera outbreak.
Broken sanitation and rubbish are ideal breeding grounds for the disease.
“We ask for medicine, water and food – if you search in the villages, you won’t find any food. We have nothing,” one resident said.
Earlier this year, ITV News reported from Yemen the UN has received only a third of the funding it needs for the 12 million people facing famine.
Officials fear that money will now be diverted to contain cholera.
- WHAT IS CHOLERA?
Cholera is a bacterial infection caused by consuming contaminated food or water.
Symptoms include feeling and being sick, stomach cramps and severe diarrhoea.
They usually develop within a few days of infection – but can sometimes occur within hours.
It can be easily treated using oral rehydration solution – a sachet containing a mix of salts and glucose dissolved in water. A vaccination is also available.
Without treatment a person can quickly become dehydrated, go into shock and die.
At risk areas include the Middle East, south and south-east Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and central America and the Caribbean.
There haven’t been any cases of cholera in England and Wales for over 100 years.