High levels of super bacteria found in Rio’s beaches

The highest levels of super bacteria was found on the shores of Guanabara Bay, site of the Olympic sailing event

Rio water Bacteria

(CNN) – We’re counting down to the Rio Olympics which is now just one month away.

Here’s what you can expect: Brazil will host more than 10-thousand athletes from 206 countries. They will compete in more than three-hundred events across 42 sports. And nearly five-thousand medals will be awarded.

Crime, pollution, an unfinished subway, and the zika virus are just some of the problems already plaguing the host city, Rio and now, there’s a new concern to watch out for lurking in the city’s water.

The marvelous city, stunning views and golden beaches but you might think twice before you splash in. Lurking under Rio’s waters is raw sewage and now what scientists describe as super bacteria. Researchers at the Rio Federal University tested the city’s beaches for a year, and discovered high levels of the dreaded superbug, drug-resistant bacteria that have been turning up in hospitals.

“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,” said Renata Picao, Professor, Rio Federal University.

The highest levels of super bacteria was found on the shores of Guanabara Bay, site of the Olympic sailing event one month from now.

German Paralympic sailor Heiko Kroger says you can’t be overcautious, “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, so I keep my nose and my lips closed.”

His colleague Erik Heil blamed the bacteria-infested waters for a skin infection he got while training. Authorities, however, say athletes and visitors will be safe and the sailing arena has internationally acceptable levels of bacteria.

According to Rio’s water utility, half of the homes in Rio state are now connected to the sewage system, up from 11 percent.

“Of course, the waste water treatment plants are not prepared for super bacteria, because it’s brand new. It’s something new,” said Edes Fernandes de Oliveira, CEDAE water utility.

And something the water utility says it will look into further. However, scientists say the super-bug is also washing up on some of Rio’s most touristy beaches, which are already deemed too polluted to swim in by authorities, a good third of the year.

Another cloud overshadowing Rio’s troubled Olympics.

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