“Oh look, another story about how much of a fucking disaster the Olympics in Rio are going to be.” I agree, we really shouldn’t be that surprised by this news anymore. Hell, we’ve already heard all about how disgusting the water that athletes will be competing in is. Between the copious amounts of human feces and dead bodies, I wouldn’t say it would take a fucking a neurosurgeon to figure out that maybe athletes shouldn’t be swallowing too much of that water whilst competing. However, a new study by the Associated Press reports that if an athlete so much as submerges their head below water, they’ll probably contract some sort of disease.
“The first results of the study published over a year ago showed viral levels at up to 1.7 million times what would be considered worrisome in the United States or Europe. At those concentrations, swimmers and athletes who ingest just three teaspoons of water are almost certain to be infected with viruses that can cause stomach and respiratory illnesses and, more rarely, heart and brain inflammation – although whether they actually fall ill depends on a series of factors including the strength of the individual’s immune system.
Since the AP released the initial results last July, athletes have been taking elaborate precautions to prevent illnesses that could potentially knock them out of the competition, including preventatively taking antibiotics, bleaching oars and donning plastic suits and gloves in a bid to limit contact with the water.”
Ok so first things first. How can the Olympic committee have these athletes competing in what is essentially a river of shit and then also maybe kick them out of competition for taking precautions to maybe not absorb the liquid that is pooling on said shit through their skin? That seems weirdly unfair. Like ‘Someone isn’t actually paying attention to what this report is saying’ weirdly unfair.
“But antibiotics combat bacterial infections, not viruses. And the AP investigation found that infectious adenovirus readings – tested with cell cultures and verified with molecular biology protocols – turned up at nearly 90 per cent of the test sites over 16 months of testing.
“That’s a very, very, very high percentage,” said Dr Valerie Harwood, chair of the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of South Florida. “Seeing that level of human pathogenic virus is pretty much unheard of in surface waters in the US. You would never, ever see these levels because we treat our waste water. You just would not see this.”
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.””
Science is amazing.
“Swimmers who cannot heed that advice stand to ingest water through their mouth and nose and therefore risk “getting violently ill”.
Danger is lurking even in the sand. Samples from the beaches at Copacabana and Ipanema revealed high levels of viruses, which recent studies have suggested can pose a health risk – particularly to babies and small children.”
I’m a bit disturbed by how willing the Olympics Committee seems to be about forgoing basic human health necessities and safety in favor of being sure these Olympics are completed. Listen, I love the Olympics as much as the next guy, but I don’t want to see people swimming through a river brimming with an entire nation’s leftover shit. Is every competition going to see the winner puking into buckets on the podium? The medal girls will need to wear hazmat suits so they don’t get covered in vomit that also probably contains all the shit that the athlete swallowed during competition. Or are hazmat suits not allowed either? Probably against some rules somewhere, the way things are going this year. After all, what better way to have a person protect themselves against whatever the hell is in the atmosphere of Rio than by making them wear a bikini while handling pieces of metal that came from who knows where?