A 16-month long report by the Associated Press has released some scary results. They discovered that the water in Rio has viruses at rates that would be 1.7 million times the level that would be alarming in the US and Europe.
They estimate that athletes only need to ingest *three* tablespoons of water to be infected with the virus.
While athletes take precautions, what about the 300,000-500,000 foreigners expected to descend on Rio for the Olympics? Testing at several of the city’s world-famous beaches has shown that in addition to persistently high viral loads, the beaches often have levels of bacterial markers for sewage pollution that would be cause for concern abroad – and sometimes even exceed Rio state’s lax water safety standards.
In light of the AP’s findings, Harwood had one piece of advice for travellers to Rio: “Don’t put your head under water.”
The Olympic committee insists the water is safe, but has only been testing for bacteria. But these are viruses.
Olympic teams have faced health risks when traveling in the past.
But this case is different in that the specific activities the athletes are engaging in increase their risk of getting sick.
I’m just worried they’ll have to choose between their health and their sport. (Or at least, having to weigh mixed reports about the health risks and their sport).
Edit: earlier versions of recording on this were talking about the Zika Virus. However, that was incorrect as the Associated Press research was done about viruses generally.