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WHO: Yemen Cholera Cases Could Hit 300,000 within Six Months | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A cholera-infected man reacts as he lies on a hospital bed in Sana’a, Yemen May 6, 2017. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Yemen could have as many as 300,000 cases of cholera within six months, the World Health Organization warned on Friday.

“We need to expect something that could go up to 200,000-250,000 cases over the next six months, in addition to the 50,000 cases that have already occurred,” WHO representative in the country, Nevio Zagaria, told reporters in Geneva by phone.

“You can understand that with this number the price that we will pay in terms of lives will be extremely, extremely high.”

The cholera outbreak in Yemen has killed 209 people in recent weeks with 17,200 suspected cases across the war-torn country, the United Nations children’s agency said Wednesday.

UNICEF’s Yemen mission said that there had been an “alarming increase” in cholera-related deaths.

Cholera is a highly contagious bacterial infection spread through contaminated food or water.

Reining in the disease is particularly complicated in Yemen, where two years of devastating war between the Houthis and government forces has left more than half the country’s medical facilities out of service.