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Cholera could get out of hand: warning

dpa logodpa 20/05/2017

Doctors Without Borders has warned that Yemen's cholera outbreak has the potential to get out of control as the number of cases continues to skyrocket.

A cholera outbreak in war-torn Yemen is threatening to get out of control, as numbers of suspected cases have more than doubled in the past five days, a medical charity group has warned.

Doctors without Borders (MSF), citing a World Health Organization report, said more than 23,500 people are suspected to have been struck by cholera in the impoverished country.

The Yemeni government says the cholera infection has spread across 18 of Yemen's 22 provinces.

"Before the outbreak, the [Yemeni] health system was already overstretched and people's health needs were already huge," Ghassan Abou Chaar, MSF's head of mission in Yemen, said in a statement.

He added in a statement that bringing the outbreak under control, there was a need to address the source of the disease by improving water and sanitation.

The waterborne disease has already killed more than 200 Yemenis, the Yemeni Health Ministry said.

Some 7.6 million people live in Yemen's cholera-threatened areas, according to UN estimates.

Cholera, an acute diarrhoeal infection, is caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera.

A state of emergency was declared last week in Yemen's rebel-held capital Sana'a.

Yemen has been devastated by a struggle of power between the Iran-allied rebels and a Saudi-backed government since late 2014.

The feud has taken a toll on the country's healthcare facilities.

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