Scientists have found dangerous drug-resistant "super bacteria" off beaches in Rio de Janeiro that will host Olympic swimming events and in a lagoon where rowing and canoe athletes will compete.
The findings concern Rio's most popular spots for tourists and greatly increase the areas known to be infected by the microbes normally found only in hospitals. They also heighten concerns that Rio's sewage-infested waterways are unsafe.
The super bacteria can cause hard-to-treat urinary, gastrointestinal, pulmonary and bloodstream infections, along with meningitis. The CDC says studies show that these bacteria contribute to death in up to half of patients infected.
Waste from countless hospitals pours into storm drains, rivers and streams crisscrossing Rio, allowing the super bacteria to spread outside the city's hospitals in recent years.
"These bacteria should not be present in these waters. They should not be present in the sea," said Picao, a professor at Rio's federal university and lead researcher of the first study.
Cleaning the city's waterways was meant to be one of the Games' greatest legacies and a high-profile promise in the official 2009 bid document Rio used to win the right to host South America's first Olympics.
That goal has instead transformed into an embarrassing failure, with athletes lamenting the stench of sewage and complaining about debris that bangs into and clings to boats in Guanabara Bay, potential hazards for a fair competition.
Valerie Harwood, an expert in recreational water contamination and antibiotic-resistant bacteria at the University of South Florida who was not involved in the studies, said that if anything, things were getting worse, as the super bacteria naturally spread by infecting other microbes.
The contamination has prompted federal police and prosecutors to investigate whether Rio's water utility Cedae is committing environmental crimes by lying about how much sewage it treats. Investigators are also looking into where billions of dollars in funds went since the early 1990s, money earmarked to improve sewage services and clean Guanabara Bay.
Health experts say Rio's poor wastewater management has already created endemic illnesses.
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- Thread Starter
- 12-06-2016 07:44
- 12-06-2016 13:22
Someone remind me if Brazil is a second or third world country again?
- 12-06-2016 13:34
It's not new. It was found there 3 years ago.
- Thread Starter
- 12-06-2016 14:04
- 12-06-2016 20:21
Its actually a developing country, so that means its a second world country.
- 12-06-2016 20:26