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Yemen cholera outbreak deaths top 920, UN says

Yemen cholera outbreak deaths top 920, UN says
Posted at 10:33 PM, Jun 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-13 19:30:05-04

SANA'A, YEMEN (UNICEF/CNN) - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said the cholera outbreak in Yemen continues to spread at an alarming rate with more than 124,000 cases recorded, almost half of whom are children. 

UNICEF said at least 923 people have died from the disease since late April with children accounting for one quarter of the deaths.

The Fund said hospitals and treatment centers were struggling to cope with the large number of patients coming in from across the country as medicines and intravenous fluids are quickly running out.

In a recent visit to the war-torn country, UNICEF's Middle East Director Geert Cappelaere called on authorities to make the fight against cholera and the challenges faced by people every day a top priority. He said the crisis was hitting the Yemenis, especially children, very hard and more supplies were needed. 

Cappelaere said 5,000 to 10,000 cases were being reported daily throughout the country which was "unprecedented," and required "an unprecedented massive response from the authorities here, but also from the international community." 

Cappelaere said cholera does not know any borders and was spreading across the front lines. He called on parties to stop fighting to allow humanitarian workers to respond to the outbreak which was had affected 19 out the country's 21 governing areas.

Still, he said there were hopeful signs. He noted that in areas that have been reached, the number of cases was no longer increasing as much as those areas where UNICEF has not been able to respond. 

Copyright 2017 UNICEF via CNN. All rights reserved.