Sport Venues in Rio Teeming With Faecal Viruses

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Sport Venues in Rio Teeming With Faecal Viruses

Editor: Vladimir Bajic | Tactical Investor

Rio Teeming With Faecal Viruses

Just days ahead of the Olympic Games, the waterways of Rio de Janeiro are as filthy as ever, contaminated with raw human sewage teeming with dangerous viruses and bacteria, according to a 16-month-long study commissioned by the Associated Press.

Not only are some 1,400 athletes at risk of getting violently ill in water competitions, but the AP’s tests indicate that tourists also face potentially serious health risks on the golden beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana.

The AP’s survey of the aquatic Olympic and Paralympic venues has revealed consistent and dangerously high levels of viruses from the pollution, a major black eye on Rio’s Olympic project that has set off alarm bells among sailors, rowers and open-water swimmers.

But antibiotics combat bacterial infections, not viruses. And the AP investigation found that infectious adenovirus readings — tested with cell cultures and verified with molecular biology protocols — turned up at nearly 90 percent of the test sites over 16 months of testing.

“That’s a very, very, very high percentage,” said Dr. Valerie Harwood, chair of the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida. “Seeing that level of human pathogenic virus is pretty much unheard of in surface waters in the US. You would never, ever see these levels because we treat our wastewater. You just would not see this.” Full Story

Sports Venues in Rio Teeming With Faecal Viruses

The same day, Reuters reported that scientists had found drug-resistant “super-bacteria” in Lagoa, as well as off Copacabana beach, where Olympic marathon and triathlon swimmers will compete. The super-bacteria could cause “urinary, gastrointestinal, pulmonary and bloodstream infections, along with meningitis,” Reuters wrote, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it contributes to death for up to half of all patients infected.

More than half of everything flushed by Rio’s 6.3 million inhabitants flows directly into its waterways. This isn’t a problem unique to Brazil; stemming the flow of raw sewage is a challenge to almost every coastal city around the world, and 90 percent of all wastewater in the developing world flows, untreated, directly into rivers, lakes and the sea. Even in New York City, sewage bypasses the overwhelmed treatment plants and flows directly out of overflow pipes along the city’s waterfront when it rains more than just .05 of an inch. Full Story

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