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New Tests Show Extent of Rio Water Contamination

Experts say ‘virus levels are widespread’ after AP testing shows water is badly contaminated, even far offshore.

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A new round of testing by the Associated Press shows the city’s Olympic waterways and beaches, including Copacabana Beach, where the 2016 Olympic triathlon swim will take place, are even more contaminated than previously believed.

“In July, the AP reported that its first round of tests showed disease-causing viruses directly linked to human sewage at levels up to 1.7 million times what would be considered highly alarming in the US or Europe. Experts said athletes were competing in the viral equivalent of raw sewage and exposure to dangerous health risks almost certain,” reads a report by The Guardian.

The AP’s most recent tests since August show not only no improvement in water quality but that the water is even more widely contaminated than previously known. None of the venues are fit for swimmers or boaters, and athletes who ingest three teaspoons of water have a 99 percent chance of being infected by viruses.

Read The Guardian article here.