Fact Check: Cholera Is NOT Cause Of Swimming, Fishing Ban In Odesa Region As Of June 15, 2023


  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Cholera Is NOT Cause Of Swimming, Fishing Ban In Odesa Region As Of June 15, 2023 Other Pathogen

Have swimming and fishing been banned because cholera was found in Odesa's seawater? No, that's not true: Fishing has been prohibited since authorities have observed "a plague of fish" in the southern Ukrainian region along the northern coast of the Black Sea, following the collapse of the Kakhovka dam, and have warned against the risk of botulism. Swimming has also been banned in the area due to the detected presence of pathogens such as the nonagglutinating vibrio (or non-cholera vibrio). Cholera, though, had not been detected in the region, as of June 15, 2023.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium vibrio cholerae. Nonagglutinating vibrio does not cause cholera, but can cause symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, primary septicemia (an illness associated with bacteria in the bloodstream) and wound infections.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok by pollman7 on June 19, 2023, with the caption "Is there cholera in the sea near Odesa?" The text on the video (translated from Russian to English by Lead Stories staff) reads:

There is cholera in the sea of Odesa, is quarantine coming soon? Law enforcement officers don't allow people into the sea and specialized vehicles with loud speakers inform of the ban that prohibits getting close to the water. Moreover, fishing is forbidden.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-06-20 at 11.36.31 AM.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Jun 20 06:59:02 2023 UTC)

Speculations claiming that water was contaminated with cholera in Ukraine started spreading shortly after the Kakhovka dam was damaged on June 6, 2023.

On June 15, 2023, Serhii Bratchuk, head of the Public Council under the Odesa Oblast Military Administration, delivered a statement during a briefing at Media Center Ukraine-Ukrinform, explaining the situation in Odesa and in the region:

"As for seawater, samples are also being taken. They have already come back cleaner. At the moment, what was being spread on the situation in the Black Sea is fake news -- we do not have an epidemic of cholera, and there is no cholera bacterium in the region either. The situation is under control, the epidemiological situation is being monitored."

On June 13, 2023, Chief Medical Officer of Ukraine Igor Kuzin commented that daily tests took place to monitor the level of contamination and there had been no cases of cholera reported yet.

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