Ukraine: Cholera Cases Swell to 20

KIEV -- The number of cholera cases in Ukraine has swelled to 20 over the past four days and officials are blaming tainted drinking water for the disease's spread.

The first cases were reported Monday, when three people in the city of Nikolayev were hospitalized in critical condition, according to Health Ministry official Vitaly Movchanyuk.

"Five patients are on the verge of death," Movchanyuk said.

Movchanyuk said fish carrying the cholera bacteria were discovered in the Yuzhny Boug river, which supplies drinking water to 3 million Ukrainians.

In Moscow, officials said two cases of cholera had been reported recently, and the State Health Inspectorate has drafted new controls on foodstuffs, water and reservoirs, Itar-Tass said.

Muscovites were warned to buy only food with quality certificates and to avoid buying food and drinks from street vendors.