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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cholera Continues To Spread

REUTERS -- Cholera has spread to a second region of southern Russia, killing four people in the semi-autonomous republic of Chechnya, Interfax said Tuesday.

Sixteen people have died of the disease and almost 500 have been infected in the neighboring northern Caucasus district of Dagestan. One person has died in Moscow. Health officials in Ukraine say they are checking trains entering from Russia's north Caucasus to prevent the spread of cholera.

Medical officials in Moscow said on Friday that the Russian capital was in danger of an outbreak after 24 people suspected of having cholera escaped from detention. The 24 were part of a group detained after they arrived on a train from Dagestan. The report, however, was later denied by Lyudmila Rodina, the head of the city's sanitary-epidemiological inspection, who said that they were let go because they were not at risk.

Chechen health officials said 34 cases of cholera had been registered in their region, all in two villages close to the border with Dagestan.

In Dagestan, two more people died, raising the toll to 16, Itar-Tass news agency reported. Quoting official figures, Tass said there were 483 cases of cholera in Dagestan. Meanwhile, an outbreak of anthrax in Ukraine, passed on by diseased meat, appears to be under control. But a top official in Ukraine's worst-hit area said criminal proceedings would be launched against negligent veterinary inspectors.

The anthrax outbreak, in which one person died, was confined to three regions of Ukraine, with most of the 20 cases reported in the Crimean peninsula. But Sergei Tsekov, chairman of parliament in the autonomous peninsula, described the situation as "nightmarish."

"The veterinary service has done an appalling job," he said. "These instances cannot go unpunished. Criminal proceedings must be launched."

(MT, Reuters)