Rio says the water's fine for Olympics

Rio Olympic Park

The accused faces between two and six years in prison if found guilty

"Like, there was, the other day, a report by AP [that said], 'Okay, there's a killing bacteria in the waters of the Copacabana Beach.' We would be exterminated, the civilization of Rio, if it was really a bacteria that kills people there because we go to the beach all the time".

When bidding for the 2016 Olympics, Brazil had promised to clean up its act to meet regulations regarding the quality of its water and beaches states the Associated Press; this standard does not appear to have been met.

With the Olympics kicking off this week, many of Rio's bodies of water contain high levels of pollution, including areas with viruses akin to raw sewage.

She said athletes must work with medical teams to minimize exposure as much as possible by showering immediately after leaving the water, covering any cuts and abrasions and preventing any ingestion or inhalation of water. Rain has flushed more raw human sewage teeming with unsafe viruses and bacteria into the bay.

But Kristina Mena, a waterborne virus expert at the University of Texas, says there are "extremely high levels of pollution" in the water that will lead to high infection rates and illnesses such as diarrhea, respiratory infections, skin problems and eye and ear infections. An AP article published this week reiterates those findings, and a biology professor at the University of South Florida offered some free advice: "Don't put your head under the water".

But a real threat which has existed for the famous Brazilian municipality is that of dreadfully unhygienic water.

However, the accuracy of bacterial testing is up for debate, with a growing consensus believing that such tests are not suitable to all climates.

Trash floating near Guanabara Bay, where athletes will compete during the 2016 Summer Olympics.

That disparity was borne out in the AP's testing.

In a timely boost for Los Angeles' bid for the 2024 Games, the United States is getting a second member on the International Olympic Committee's ruling executive board. A recent AP report suggests anyone who ingests more than three tablespoons of the stuff is going to contract a virus, and even those who stick to the sand at Copacabana Beach may not be safe either.

Russia's sports minister says a decision is expected in the next two days on which athletes will be allowed to compete in Rio de Janeiro.

But the danger isn't only present in Rio's waterways.

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