A Ukrainian serviceman looks on a she stands in a flooded street of Kherson, Ukraine, 06 June 2023. EFE-EPA/FILE/IVAN ANTYPENKO

Ukraine reports possible cholera outbreak in Russia-occupied Kherson region

Kyiv, July 5 (EFE).- The Ukrainian military Friday reported a spike in intestinal infections carrying “signs of cholera” in Russia-occupied areas of the Kherson region in southern Ukraine where the destruction of a dam last month caused severe flooding and widespread human suffering.

In a Facebook post, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said the Russia-backed authorities in the occupied areas were vaccinating albiet secretly the “representatives of the so-called administrations and their closest circle” against the cholera disease.

“An increase in the number of cases of acute intestinal infections was noted in the temporarily captured Skadovska and Genicheska of the Kherson region,” the military said.

The Ukrainian military alleged that the Russia-backed authorities were not recognizing the increase in cases and were “trying to hide the deterioration of the sanitary-epidemiological situation in the region.”

The Ukrainian military noted that the symptoms of the infections were typical of cholera.

The Kherson region is split in two by the Dnieper River. Russia occupies the eastern bank, and the government in Kyiv controls the western bank.

Part of the Kherson province suffered severe flooding last month due to the New Kakhovka dam burst and the explosion of a hydroelectric power station in the Russian-occupied territory.

The destruction of the dam sparked a humanitarian and ecological catastrophe in the area as Ukraine accused Russia of deliberately blowing it up to cause the flooding and hinder a possible advance of Ukrainian forces.

Ukraine’s health ministry had warned of “dangerous pathogens” and disease outbreaks in the Russia-held regions in the wake of flooding due to the dam burst.

According to the World Health Organization, the severe flooding displaced thousands of people and destroyed vital infrastructure including roads, electricity lines, agricultural land, health facilities and private homes.

The UN health agency, had also warned of “a significant risk of waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid, and rodent-borne diseases such as leptospirosis and tularaemia” in the flooded regions. EFE