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How Yemen’s Cholera Outbreak Became the Fastest Growing in Modern History

OCTOBER 18, 2017
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byNICOLE EINBINDERAbrams Journalism Fellow,  FRONTLINE/Columbia Journalism School Fellowships The cholera epidemic in Yemen is now the largest and fastest growing outbreak of the disease in modern history — the result of a crippling war that has devastated the country, long the poorest in the Arab world, and unleashed a major humanitarian crisis. At last count on October 11, the World Health Organization reported that there have been more than 822,000 suspected cases of cholera and 2,160 cholera-related deaths since the end of April, when the outbreak emerged. The crisis has become so severe that approximately 5,000 Yemenis experience cholera symptoms each day, said Christian Lindmeier, a World Health Organization spokesman. Yemen’s outbreak has already surpassed the epidemic in Haiti, which has reported 815,000 cases of cholera and 9,700 deaths since 2010, according to the United Nations. But while it took Haiti seven years to reach those numbers, cholera has consume…

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