‘Super bacteria’ reportedly found in Olympic venues, Rio beaches.
Rio de Janeiro’s top beaches and a lagoon which will host Olympic events have been found to contain “super bacteria” by scientists ahead of the Games this summer.
According to Reuters, which has seen two academic studies, popular beaches frequented by tourists have been infected by the microbes usually found in hospitals.
Rio’s sewage-infested waterways have also been deemed unsafe.
The first study showed that the drug-resistant bacteria was found at five of Rio’s top beaches, including Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon ad Botafogo and Flamengo.
The bacteria can cause urinary, gastrointestinal, pulmonary and bloodstream infections, along with meningitis.
The second study by the Brazilian federal government found the bacteria in the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon and in a river which empties into Guanabara Bay.
Renata Picao, a professor at Rio’s federal university and lead researcher of the first study, said the contamination was due to a lack of basic sanitation.
“These bacteria should not be present in these waters. They should not be present in the sea,” said Picao.
The microbes were found in 90 per cent of samples taken from Flamengo beach, where Olympic sailing events will take place. They were discovered in 10 per cent of Copacabana’s samples.
Valerie Harwood, a US expert in recreational water contamination, said the situation was getting worse as the super bacteria naturally spread by infecting other microbes.