Experts: Viruses in Rio 2016


Published: 2Aug2016
“Just days ahead of the Olympic Games the waterways of Rio de Janeiro are as filthy as ever, contaminated with raw human sewage teeming with dangerous viruses and bacteria, according to a 16-month-long study commissioned by the Associated Press.” (The Independent)

Brian Ward, Centre for the Study of Host Resistance, McGill University

“I'm sure it's true that the water around Rio is far from pristine from a microbiologic point of view. I would not be particularly worried about 'adenoviruses' (they can be found in abundance in many daycare settings), but there are almost certainly lots of other 'interesting' viruses as well as bacteria floating around in the Rio sailing/swimming venues. The Chinese Olympic Committee could shut down industry for a couple of weeks to ensure that the Beijing air was (semi)-breathable but it's kind of hard to ask the folks of Rio to stop using their toilets and latrines. There is no such thing as an emergency here ... this has been coming for months (years).”-Brian Ward

Professor Ward is an expert on vaccines, immunity and infectious diseases.
brian.ward [at] Cellphone available. Available today and this week for interviews. (English, French)

Jose Teodoro, Department of Biochemistry, McGill University

"Adenovirus are routinely found in sewage and are not dangerous pathogens. They can cause mild diarrhea in children. The high levels of adenovirus in the water around Rio is more of indication of the amount of raw sewage that is being dumped there. I worry more about the other (mostly bacterial) pathogens in the water."-Jose Teodoro

His lab has a broad interest in identifying molecular pathways that limit tumour growth and delineating the mechanisms by which they become subverted in cancer, such as the viral mechanisms of tumour cell destruction.

(514) 398-3273, jose.teodoro [at] (English)


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