WHO EMRO Weekly Epidemiological Monitor: Volume 12, Issue 32 (11 August 2019)

Current major event

Dengue in Yemen: situation update

The Ministry of Public Health and Population (MoPHP) Yemen has reported 14 540 suspected cases of dengue fever with 79 associated deaths (CFR 0.5 %), since the start of the year till epidemiological week 31-2019. These cases are reported from 22 out of 23 governorates in the country.

Editorial note

Dengue is currently the most widely spread mosquito-borne disease in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region. Since 1998, several outbreaks of dengue and severe dengue were reported from Djibouti, Egypt, , Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

This Year, in Yemen, a total of 14,540 suspected cases including 79 deaths (CFR 0.5%) have been reported from epidemiological week 1 to 31, 2019. Starting from week 23, an increase in the cases were observed. The similar trend was noticed in 2018 from week 25 (See graph). Reported cases till week 30 showed that cumulatively 33% of the cases presented by warning signs and 5% were classified as severe dengue. Regarding laboratory confirmation, the overall positivity rate IgMDENV is 54% in all governorates, while Aden reported 95% positivity rate for IgG.

Suspected dengue cases were reported form 22/23 governorates, with higher number of cases in Aden , Al-Hudydah, Lahj, Abyan, and Hadramout. The higher attack rates per 1000 population were observed in Aden (Al-Mansura district) 3.4% , Abyan (Al Mahfad district) 2.8%, Lahj (Tuban district) 2% Hadramaut (Brom Mayfa) 1.7% , and Shabwa (Ain and Rudum districts) 1.5% governorates.

Moreover, till week 30- 2019, an increased number of reported cases have been observed in comparison to the same period last year (7% increase) as well as the CFR (0.2% in 2019 compared to 0.1% in 2018). The highest CFR was reported from Aden (25 deaths, 0.7% CFR), although it has remained below 1%.

During week 24 and 25, a sudden increase in CFR was observed in Aden which triggered the rapid response team (RRT) activation to investigate and response to this outbreak.

As part of dengue preparedness and response plan, MoPHP are continuing to support RRT activities to conduct field visit and onsite mentoring on dengue fever surveillance, testing and case management, provide training courses for health care workers, including case identification and management for dengue fever, raising the community awareness on how to protect themselves against dengue fever and other vector borne and water-borne diseases and working with partners in improving and sustaining vector control activities.

In order to contain the current suspected upsurge in the country, the MoPHP has to enhance surveillance for early detection of suspected cases, strengthen entomological surveillance and vector control measures. Case management also needs to be standardized through distribution of guidelines and protocols.

Source: World Health Organization