Cholera spreading at record speed in Yemen: WHO expert

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-19 22:30:46|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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GENEVA, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Referring to the resurgence of cholera in war-torn Yemen, the World Health Organization's (WHO) Yemen country representative warned Friday that the speed at which the deadly disease is spreading is unparalleled in the country's history.

"The speed of the resurgence of the cholera epidemic is unprecedented," Nevio Zagaria told the press by telephone in a regular press briefing here.

Highlighting the "underfunding of the health, water and sanitation sector," Zagaria urged the global community to support health workers, some of whom haven't been paid in over seven months.

He also recommended that efforts be directed towards treating water sources, repairing the sewers system and raising awareness through different methodologies including community mobilisation.

The official noted that the protracted collapse of Yemen's healthcare system and economy is hampering its ability to contain the enteric infection caused by the ingestion of water or food contaminated by the Vibrio cholerae bacterium.

According to WHO statistics, 23,425 suspected infections have been reported, with 242 cholera-related deaths documented over the last three weeks.

While the outbreak first erupted in October last year, the incidence of the disease dropped significantly in December, though it was never fully under control.