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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukraine Shuts Beaches

KIEV () -- Ukrainian officials took the drastic step of closing most beaches on the Black Sea and the Azov Sea to stop the spread of cholera, health officials said Thursday.

The closure comes at the height of the tourist season, but officials said they had no choice.

"By closing the beaches we'll be able to localize the cholera outbreak,'' Inha Prysiazhnuk, an official at the national health department, said. "The virus is often carried by water.''

Police are now patrolling 40 closed beaches in southern Ukraine and on the Crimean peninsula, including all the beaches in the cities of Yalta, Odessa and Nikolayev.