242 deaths in Yemen in three weeks due to cholera: WHO

YemenUpdated: May 19, 2017, 11:02 AM IST

WHO says there could be as many as 250,000 cholera cases in Yemen within six months. Photograph:(Reuters)

Nearly 23,500 suspected cases of cholera have been registered in war-ravaged Yemen in the past three weeks, including 242 deaths, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

"The speed of the resurgence of this cholera epidemic is unprecedented," WHO country representative for Yemen Nevio Zagaria told reporters in a conference call, warning that there could be as many as 250,000 cases in the country within six months.

On Monday, the International Committee of the Red Cross had said cholera outbreak had killed 180 people since April 27, hours after the Houthi-controlled health ministry said 115 had died from the disease in the capital Sanaa. ICRC's Dominik Stillhart had told reporters in the Yemeni city of Aden there were 11,000 more suspected cholera cases across the war-torn country.

Cholera is normally contracted by consumption of water and food contaminated by human faeces. It leads to massive dehydrating diarrhoea attacks along with vomiting and cramps which if not quickly healed can kill a person in a few days.