What do I need to know before I travel?
Public Health Scotland logo

Fit for Travel Logo

Information on how to stay safe and healthy abroad. About us.

Cholera in Yemen (Update)

26 Jan 2017

On 23 January 2017 the World Health Organisation (WHO) released an updateLink on the number of cholera cases in Yemen.

The Ministry of Public Health and Population in Yemen published figures as of 18 January 2017:

  • 17 334 suspected cases of cholera
  • 99 associated deaths have been reported, with a case–fatality rate of 0.6%
  • 189 laboratory-confirmed cases of Vibrio cholerae 01.

The affected governorates are Abyan, Aden, Amran, Al Hudaydah, Al-Bayda'a, Al-Dhale'a, Dhamar, Ibb, Hajjah, Lahij, Raymah, Sana'a, Ta'izz, Al Jawf and Sana'a City. The majority (65%) of the new cases were reported from 5 governorates:  Abyan, Al Hudaydah, Ibb, Lahaj, and Ta'izz. 

The WHO, the Ministry of Public Health and Population, UNICEF and OCHA continue to work in partnership on the cholera taskforce.

Advice for Travellers

Severe cholera is rare in travellers, mild cases may present as travellers' diarrhoea.

  • All travellers should be given advice on maintaining good food, water and hand hygiene, see traveller's diarrhoea, safe eating and drinking and water purification.
  • Travellers should be advised on basic steps in self - treating diarrhoea, particularly maintaining hydration.

When to consider vaccination

Vaccination should be considered under the following circumstances and is dependant on the individual risk assessment:

  • Volunteers/aid workers/medical personnel in disaster relief situations where cholera outbreaks likely.
  • Those travelling to work in slums/refugee camps, areas affected by natural disasters, or countries experiencing cholera outbreaks (see current notes on the country concerned).