A cholera-infected girl lies on a bed at a hospital in Sanaa. Picture: Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

New York - An outbreak of cholera in Yemen has killed 51 people in two weeks, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday.

WHO has identified 2 752 suspected cases of the acute diarrhoeal infection in Yemen since April 27 and is opening ten oral rehydration therapy centres in the capital of Sana'a to try to stop the spread.

The upsurge follows a previous cholera outbreak in the country in October 2016.

"We are very concerned with the re-emergence of cholera across several areas of Yemen in the past couple of weeks," said Dr Nevio Zagaria, WHO representative in Yemen.

Read the WHO report here

"Efforts must be scaled-up now to contain the outbreak and avoid a dramatic increase in cases of diarrhoeal disease."

Yemen's health system is struggling after two years of conflict, and the collapsing sanitation infrastructure is contributing to the spread as pathogens can more easily get into water sources and spread in hot weather and heavy rain.

Around 7.6 million people live in Yemen live in areas at high risk of cholera transmission, according to WHO estimates.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera.

Most of those infected will have no or mild symptoms but, in severe cases, the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.