Brazil's Rio de Janeiro has already been dealing with health concerns prompted by the Zika virus that has led to several athletes pulling out of the 2016 Olympic Games, which is set to start in Aug. 5 this year.
It appears, however, that the mosquito-borne virus that has been linked to birth defects is not the only health and safety issue that officials, athletes and tourists have to face.
Super bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics appear to be another threat that can potentially raise worries among those visiting the city for the gaming event.
A group of scientists in the South American country has reported detecting drug-resistant bacteria growing off in the waters of Rio de Janeiro.
Renata Picao, from Rio's federal university, who led a study that looked at bacterial contamination in five showcase beaches in Rio, said that the bacteria they have detected in the waters are normally seen in hospitals and should not be present in the sea.
The superbug Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, entered the waterways of the city when sewage from hospitals got channeled into the bay. The super bacteria can cause gastrointestinal, pulmonary and bloodstream infections.
Although the samples were collected between 2013 and 2014, Picao said there is no reason to believe that the levels of the bacteria in the waters have changed since raw sewage remains to flow into many waterways.
Included in the affected beaches is Copacabana, where open-water and triathlon swimming events are set to take place.
Experts, however, said the findings are not reason enough to make changes to the venues. Picao said that more studies are needed to determine the risk to human health of exposure to the bacteria through the water.
"I wouldn't say to change the venues because we don't know the risks yet," Picao said. "We are making this alert because if athletes get infected there is a chance this bacteria is multiresistant and the physicians should know about this."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also said that while CRE bacteria are resistant to many antibiotics and infection can be potentially deadly, healthy people do not always get CRE infections.
Infections with these germs tend to occur in patients in nursing homes, hospitals and health care settings.
"Patients whose care requires devices like ventilators (breathing machines), urinary (bladder) catheters, or intravenous (vein) catheters, and patients who are taking long courses of certain antibiotics are most at risk for CRE infections," the CDC said.