This is definitely not smooth sailing!
While some athletes and fans are worried about performing in South America due to the Zika virus outbreak, scientists just discovered something even worse in Rio’s waters… super bacteria!
According to a CNN interview with lead researcher Renata Picao out Tuesday, his team came across the drug-resistant microorganisms on four beaches, two of which are located right next to where Olympic sailors will be competing next month!
But if that didn’t already take the wind out of your sails… Renata claimed the super bacteria is actually caused by Brazil’s pollution problem, saying:
“We have been looking for ‘super bacteria’ in coastal waters during a one-year period in five beaches. We found that the threats occur in coastal waters in a variety of concentrations and that they are strongly associated with pollution. This bacteria colonizes the intestine and it goes along with feces to the hospital sewage. We believe that hospital sewage goes into municipal sewage and gets to the Guanabara Bay or to other rivers and finally gets to the beach.
To make matters worse, German sailor Heiko Kroger believes the infected water actually gave one of his teammates a skin rash during Paralympic training, saying:
“It’s a nice sailing area but every time you get some water in your face, it feels like there’s some alien enemy entering your face. I keep my nose and my lips closed.”
With that said, neither Renata nor the Olympic committee believes the sailing venue needs to change… yet:
“I wouldn’t say to change the venues because we don’t know the risks yet. We are making this alert because if athletes get infected there is a chance this bacteria is multi-resistant and the physicians should know about this. I don’t take my children to these beaches… we still need more studies to tell what would be the risk to human health of this exposure through the water.”
So they don’t even know what the super bacteria could do to humans yet?? Great…
What else can go wrong before Opening Ceremony on August 5?!
Stay safe if you plan on visiting Rio de Janeiro this Summer!
[Image via Olympics/Instagram.]