29 Mar 2016

Rio Olympics athletes at high risk of infection from contaminated water

From Nine To Noon, 9:08 am on 29 March 2016

The Rio Olympics begin in just over 4 months, and New Zealand is set to send its biggest team ever, around 220 athletes. Over a quarter of those are the sailors, canoeists and rowers who will compete on Rio's contaminated lakes, rivers and beaches. Rio based water and environmental scientist, Dr Fernando Spilki, has been conducting regular tests of the olympic waterways, and says athletes are at very high risk of infection, as there are such high levels of fecal matter entering the water; levels comparable to countries like India. He says his tests found viruses that induce vomiting such as rotovirus as well as Fecal coliforms that could cause cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid.