Health Concerns Grow Over Water Quality at Rio Olympics

The World Health Organization is advising athletes to not swallow the water, cover open wounds and wash immediately after exiting the water.
3:12 | 08/04/16

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Transcript for Health Concerns Grow Over Water Quality at Rio Olympics
We move on to the olympics. Kicking off the opening ceremony tomorrow in Rio as concerns grow over the water quality and whether it could be athletes' health at risk. Matt Gutman has the latest. Reporter: One of the biggest health concerns is the water of that gorgeous bay behind me. We had it tested and scientists say they found levels of a virus 200 times higher than what we would consider contaminated in the U.S. And those scientists say that those environments leach even into the sand here. This morning, new questions about the safety of the water some 1,400 athletes will compete in as they vie for olympic gold. Brazil had promised a massive cleanup of the guanabara bay when the sailing events take place. One day away, these images, fete tid debris and a layer of scum and last week a corpse spotted in the bay and advising athletes who go into the water not to swallow it, to cover open wounds and wash immediately after they get out. ABC news chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser saw that sewage firsthand from above. It's pure Going right into the river. Yes. And from the water taking two samples. One from the shore of the guanabara bay and another at the copacabana beach where marathon swimming will take place and bringing them both to a lab outside Rio for testing. Our testing snapshot of the water found virus and fecal Ba bacteria levels far above what would get a U.S. Beach closed. My kids, I wouldn't let them go interthese waters. Reporter: While the copacabana sample shows high levels of viruses that indicated sewage pollution. A commercial environmental testing laboratory in New York had this to say. The diseases that could affect people that are exposed to these types of pathogens to be an acute respiratory disease like typhoid, help tight is, gastroenteritis, dysentery and even ear infections. Reporter: And that's not the only problem that organizers have encountered here. Still over a million tickets unsold, so many that organizers have actually given away 240,000 of them to underprivileged children here. Guys. All right, now I want to show you this is the suit right here -- anti-microial and seamless. The rowing team will wear these for protections. We have one intern wearing it. Where is showbiz. The legs are uncovered. Will these help, Matt. Reporter: There's a lot of skepticism. They look great but the biggest concern is that people will ingest that dirty water and no suit can fully protect against that. Lara. All right. Yeah, you think there might be something -- Is it comfortable? Can you move? Do you have a lot of freedom? It's tight.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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