Swimming In Sewage: The Dangers For Some Olympians

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Jill Chadwick

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           As the Summer Olympic Games begin, a troubling report shows the waterways of Rio de Janeiro are contaminated with raw human sewage, putting more than a thousand athletes at risk of getting violently ill in water competitions. Rowers, sailors and open-water swimmers could be competing in water with viral levels up to 1.7 million times what would be considered worrisome in the United States or Europe.

            Dr. Dana Hawkinson is an infectious disease specialist at The University of Kansas Hospital. In the video, he outlines the dangers of the bacteria in Rio’s waterways, what could happen to the athletes who compete in it, and why we typically don’t see such huge levels of contamination in the United States.