A Yemeni child, suspected of being infected with cholera, receives treatment at a hospital in Sanaa on May 15, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Mohammed HUWAIS
Cholera has killed 315 people in Yemen in under a month, the World Health Organization has said, as another aid organisation warned Monday the outbreak could become a “full-blown epidemic”.
The WHO has recorded another 29,300 suspected cases of cholera in 19 provinces across the war-torn country from April 27 to Sunday, it said on Twitter late Sunday.
“Cholera continues to spread in Yemen,” it said.
Save the Children on Monday warned that, at the current rate, more than 65,000 cases of cholera are expected by the end of June.
“Save the Children staff in Yemen are warning that a deadly cholera outbreak could become a full blown-epidemic,” it said in a statement.
An epidemic refers to the spread of a disease in excess of normal expectancy, according to the WHO.
Cholera is a highly contagious bacterial infection that is spread through contaminated food or water.
“The upsurge comes as the health system, sanitation facilities and civil infrastructure have reached breaking point because of the ongoing war” in Yemen, Save the Children said.
It said the cholera response is “massively underfunded”, calling for “urgent financial support”.
Yemen’s conflict has killed more than 8,000 people since March 2015, when a Saudi-led coalition launched a military campaign against Shiite rebels in support of the government.