Beaches in Olympic Venues in Rio awash with Super Bacteria
Beaches in Rio due to host the Olympic swimming, canoeing and rowing events underwent scientific testing and were found to be the host for a dangerous super bacterium that is usually only found in hospitals.
These new findings have heightened the concerns surrounding whether or not the sewage infested waterways in Rio are in fact unsafe. Studies have uncovered the present of the super bacteria at five of the showcase beaches due to host events.
The super bacteria are said to cause gastrointestinal, urinary, pulmonary and bloodstream infections that are really hard to treat and also meningitis. The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also reported that up to half of those infected have died.
The super bug is said to be the result of waste of households pouring into storm drains, rivers and streams that cross over Rio and provide the bug with the ideal breeding ground. The bacteria should not be present in the waters but it is believed that the contamination is due to the lack of sanitation in an area that houses in the excess of 12 million people.
Rio had promised in their 2009 bid to win the right to host the Olympics that the city’s waterways would be thoroughly cleaned. This goal has clearly failed with athletes complaining about the smell of the sewage and debris clinging to their boats being a potential hazard that may affect the grounds of fair competition.
Reuters consulted five top scientists who explained that the risk to a person’s health would be dependent on their immune system. Apparently the microbes can lay dormant and attack at a later date when a healthy person falls ill. The bug is said to not only infect humans but the bugs in the water are also turning into antibiotic resistant germs.
Valerie Harwood, an expert in water contamination from the University of Florida suggested that the bugs on their own were not enough to cause illness. The germs need to be cocooned in other bacteria and the danger is highest when someone ingests infected organisms, however the genes found in the water suggests that the bacteria has recently died.
Health experts state that poor wastewater management in Rio is already and has caused serious illnesses, and the Olympic committee is now referring questions regarding the quality of water to the state authorities.