A body was just found floating in Rio’s Guanabara Bay GamesHealth experts Olympic marathon swimmers, sailors and windsurfers competing in the bay to be ultra careful as the waters are much more contaminated than was previously thought, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Health concerns have been ongoing for the Games, with recent tests revealing a variety of pathogens in Rio’s waters. Despite recent efforts to clean up household debris, efforts have fallen short.
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.
“They can try to block big items like sofas and dead bodies, but these rivers are pure sludge, so the bacteria and viruses are going to just pass through,” said Stelberto Soares, a municipal engineer who has spent three decades addressing the city’s sanitation crisis.
Government officials and the International Olympic Committee acknowledge that, in many places, the city’s waters are filthy. But they say the areas where athletes will compete — like the waters off Copacabana Beach, where swimmers will race — meet World Health Organization safety standards.