Diphtheria claims 48 lives in Yemen within last two months says WHO

SHAFAQNA – Diphtheria has claimed 48 lives in Yemen within the last two months, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report issued Thursday.

The report states that diphtheria-related deaths had been recorded in 19 out of Yemen’s 23 provinces.

Another 610 suspected cases of diphtheria, meanwhile, have been reported across the country, according to the WHO.

The diphtheria outbreak coincides with a deadly cholera epidemic that began last April, which has claimed more than 2,200 lives in all but one province of Yemen, according to figures released earlier by the WHO.

The WHO website describes diphtheria as “a vaccine-preventable disease caused by toxin-producing Corynebacterium diphtheria transmitted… through close physical and respiratory contact”.

The Saudi aggression has devastated basic services, including water and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation in Yemen as one of “the world’s worst humanitarian disasters in modern times”.

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