Olympic Games 2024: dangerous bacteria make swimming in the Seine impossible according to the NGO Surfrider

Olympic Games 2024: dangerous bacteria make swimming in the Seine impossible according to the NGO Surfrider

A new study carried out by the NGO Surfrider Foundation shows that the Seine remains unsuitable for swimming, while the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris are fast approaching. What are the risks for swimmers? TipsForWomens interviewed Dr Gérald Kierzek to better understand.

The Seine is to host several swimming events for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. But there you have it: the water of the river has been analyzed several times and the results show that it remains unsuitable for swimming.

Water riddled with fecal bacteria, among other things

A little over three months before the start of the Olympics, the latest conclusions of the study carried out by the NGO Surfrider Foundation on the water quality of the Seine are not reassuring.

Various samples have been taken since September 2023 at the Pont de l’Alma and the Pont Alexandre III, where the marathon swimming, triathlon and paratriathlon events are to take place.

The results each time show the presence of pathogenic bacteria, the levels of which exceed the thresholds recommended by the International Swimming Federation.

All contaminated samples, except one

For its latest analysis, the NGO took 14 samples. Results: thirteen of them revealed bacterial contamination of the water, with Escherichia coli and enterococci.

For its part, the town hall and the prefecture reacted and stressed that five major works intended to ensure a clean Seine this summer will be operational very soon.

The Seine is polluted for different reasons, in particular because of the wastewater that spills but also because of the presence of wild fauna and flora. All this leads to microbiological pollution, with cyanobacteriafecal bacteria, enterobacteria that develop” indicates Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens.

What are the risks of swimming in contaminated water?

According to the doctor, bathers risk various contaminations if they bathe in water of this quality. “This can give gastroenteritisskin, ophthalmological, ENT problems… Without forgetting the risk of leptospirosisdue to the presence of rats urinating in or near water“.

Can you swim in the Seine? “Swimming is not recommended in contaminated water as well. estimates the medical director of TipsForWomens. “IIt is also better to avoid drinking from a cup and above all not to bathe with a wound, which would represent an entry point for bacteria, with an increased risk of infection, particularly for leptospirosis..