Over 1,300 Yemenis infected with diphtheria amid Saudi war: WHO


Three years into the devastating Saudi-led war on Yemen, the UN health agency has voiced alarm over the rapid spread of a diphtheria outbreak in the country, saying some 1,300 Yemenis have contacted the highly infectious disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement on Saturday that diphtheria had spread to all regions across Yemen around six months after the outbreak was first reported in the war-torn country.

It said more than 70 people have died as a result of the disease, adding that most of those infected, around 80 percent, are children and young adults.

The WHO said on Friday that around 2.7 million Yemeni children had been vaccinated in 11 provinces.

Diphtheria, a contagious disease which primarily infects the throat and airways, can rapidly spread in areas with poor health and hygiene situation. The disease can be fatal.



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