RIO DE JANEIRO — Health experts in Brazil have a word of advice for the Olympic marathon swimmers, sailors and windsurfers competing in Rio de Janeiro’s picture-postcard waters next month: Keep your mouth closed.
Despite the government’s promises seven years ago to stem the waste that fouls Rio’s expansive Guanabara Bay and the city’s fabled ocean beaches, officials acknowledge that their efforts to treat raw sewage and scoop up household garbage have fallen far short.
In fact, environmentalists and scientists say Rio’s waters are much more contaminated than previously thought.
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.
It’s a month before the start of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and each day seemingly brings more disturbing news.
Athletes are staying away because of Zika virus concerns, police are saying they won’t be able to protect tourists and a Reuters report says a drug-resistant “super bacteria” has been found Guanabara Bay.
This is all on top of an Associated Press story from earlier this month that noted “bacteria from human sewage has in all of Rio’s Olympic and Paralympic water venues. They include the Guanabara Bay, the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, where the rowing competitions are to be held.”
The good news for U.S. rowers is that they have sewage-proof suits.
We thought that reprising some of our favorite “CDC Chic” images might be fun viewing as you make your travel arrangements to Rio de Janeiro. The 2016 “Zika and Poop” Olympics is waiting. Don’t drink the water, eat the food, go outside, God-forbid go near Guanabara Bay, breath the air…..
View our favorite CDC Chic apparel items and accessories.