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Doctors in Yemen Warn of Possible Cholera Epidemic

  • VOA News

A man is treated for a suspected cholera infection at a hospital in Sana'a, Yemen, May. 7, 2017.

The medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is warning of a burgeoning cholera epidemic in Yemen.

"Two years into the war, the health care system has collapsed, hospitals are destroyed ... and government employees' salaries have not been paid," MSF spokesman Abou Chaar said Sunday.

Chaar said MSF doctors have treated more than 570 suspected cholera cases in the last three weeks.

A Yemeni nurse told the Al Jazeera News Agency her hospital in Sana'a has treated more than 200 cases.

The World Health Organization said in March the Yemeni health ministry reported more than 23,000 suspected cholera cases since October with 108 deaths.

A cholera epidemic would be another level of misery for Yemeni civilians who already are suffering from the effects of war, airstrikes, severe food shortages and a long strike by civil servants that has paralyzed government functions.

Cholera is caused by fecal-contaminated water and food. It is easily treatable but can be fatal if not treated quickly.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels control the capital, Sana'a, and other parts of the country.

A Saudi-led coalition is trying to push them out with ground forces and airstrikes that have obliterated entire civilian neighborhoods.

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