The waters that athletes will be competing in next week at the Olympic Games hosted by Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is so polluted that both marathon swimmers and sailors were warned to keep their mouths tightly closed while in or on the water.
This news comes despite Rio’s promise seven years ago to clean up the waters in putrid Guanabara Bay, which is fed by open city sewers, according to The New York Times, which reported:
Recent tests by government and independent scientists revealed a veritable petri dish of pathogens in many of the city’s waters, from rotaviruses that can cause diarrhea and vomiting to drug-resistant “superbacteria” that can be fatal to people with weakened immune systems.
“Foreign athletes will literally be swimming in human crap, and they risk getting sick from all those microorganisms,” Dr. Daniel Becker told The Times. “It’s sad but also worrisome.”
Rio has long had a problem with untreated human waste flowing into its coastal waters, but the South American country felt no need to do anything about it — until now.
“Our biggest plague, our biggest environmental problem, is basic sanitation,” said Andrea Correa, a top local environmental official. “The Olympics has woken people up to the problem.”
The Associated Press reported last year that tests of Rio’s coastal waters where athletes will compete revealed the presence of disease-carrying bacteria were, in some cases, at levels 1.7 million times that which would be considered hazardous in California.
“We just have to keep our mouths closed when the water sprays up,” Dutch sailing team member Afrodite Zegers, 24, told The Times.
Then there is human waste of a more ominous sort — a rotting corpses was found floating in Guanabara Bay just last month, The Times reported.
And body parts washed ashore Copacabana Beach last week — site of the volleyball competition.
This is a product of Rio’s homicide rate — 1,715 from January through April this year, according to The Sun.
Also last week, Rio police attested a group preparing “acts of terrorism” at the Olympic Games who was reportedly affiliated with the Islamic State.
And you thought all they had to worry about was the Zika virus.
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