The number of suspected cholera cases in war-torn Yemen has risen to more than 100,000 since an outbreak began on April 27, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

"To date, 101,820 suspected cholera cases and 789 deaths have been reported in 19 governorates," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told Reuters.

The WHO has warned that the number of cases could hit 300,000, but the daily number of new ones declined slightly in the week to June 5 to 3,432, compared with 3,651 in the previous seven-day period.

"Yemen is in the grip of a severe cholera epidemic of an unprecedented scale," the U.N. humanitarian office said in a report published on Wednesday.

"Malnourished children and women, people living with other chronic health conditions and households that do not have enough to eat are now at greater risk of death as they face the 'triple threat' of conflict, famine and cholera," it said.

Aid charity Oxfam called for a "cholera ceasefire" to allow health workers to halt the spread of the disease, adding that the published numbers were probably an underestimate.

Cholera is caused by ingesting bacteria from water or food contaminated with faeces. It usually manifests itself with sudden acute diarrhea and can kill within hours, although three-quarters of infected people show no symptoms.

Source: National News Agency

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