Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 35

The World Health Organization said June 19 that a diphtheria epidemic in Russia and the other former Soviet republics now threatens Europe, Moscow radio reported. The WHO said that the number of diphtheria cases in that region had risen from 2000 in 1991 to an estimated 200,000 this year. While the disease is both preventable and treatable, shortages of vaccines have allowed the disease to spread from Moscow and Saint Petersburg to the entire region, and now to Europe. Fatality rates run from 2-3 percent in Russian cities to over 20 percent in the Caucasus and Central Asia, the WHO said. Meanwhile, in Ukraine, the government announced a crash program to clean up the country’s water supplies and sewage system to fight an outbreak of cholera, Kiev radio reported June 19.

Former Soviet Secret Policeman Goes on Trial for Genocide.