Raw sewage flowing into the waters off Rio de Janeiro where Olympic rowers and swimmers will compete this summer has reportedly given rise to a drug-resistant “super bacteria.”
Two unpublished academic studies detail the presence of microbes usually found in hospitals, according to a report by Reuters on Friday.
Some of the city’s top beaches – including Copacabana and Ipanema – have been affected, according to one of the studies, which was reportedly reviewed by scientists at a San Diego conference.
The other study, conducted by a Brazilian lab, found the genes of the super bacteria in a river that empties into Guanabara Bay, where a number of Olympic events will take place.
“These bacteria should not be present in these waters,” Renata Picao, a professor at Rio’s federal university, was quoted as saying. “They should not be present in the sea.”
Brazilian officials had initially pledged to greatly improve the long-standing pollution problem in time for the Games but have since acknowledged they will fall short of their goal.
The Olympics are scheduled to begin Aug. 5.
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