Getting ready to head to Rio for the state of the summer Olympic games this week?
The newest report from the Associated Press indicates that the “dangerously dirty” waters off of Rio’s shore are disastrously filled with viruses from human sewage.
The latest findings in the year-and-a-half investigation reveal that Ipanema and Copacabana are “heavily polluted” as a result, a devastating finding just days before the start of the 2016 Opening Ceremonies.
The beaches, according to the AP, even violate Rio’s own standards for clean water; water is considered polluted if it contains 2500 fecal coliforms for every 100ml of water, which amounts to about half a cup. Samples from beaches like Copacabana — where the Rio Games’ Beach Volleyball courts are built and awaiting competition — exceed this amount.
“Can you swim at the bay where the sailing competition’s gonna take place? Yes you can. I did a dive there!” says Andre Correa, the Environmental Secretary for Rio. However, the AP warns that locals like Correa likely have built up a high degree of tolerance to the viruses that visitors have not. And that’s the exact concern just three days before the state of the Olympics… with an estimated 500,000 guests expected to hit the shores in the next three weeks.
“Nearly 100% of the people who come in contact with the water will get infected,” admits virologist Fernando Spilki in the report. “But getting sick will only happen to some of them.” The likely symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
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