There have been concerns about health and safety in Rio for weeks now, even before the actual 2016 Olympic events started happening. Threats from Zika and contaminated open waters have made headlines coming out of Rio, and today we learned a TV reporter actually fell into a coma after dealing with Malaria in Rio. Yes, malaria. She's currently on life support.
The Sky and ITV reporter Charlie Webster made it to Brazil and was seemingly fine when she got there. Webster was initially in Rio as part of the Ride To Rio challenge, which sent participants on a crazy bike ride that spanned 3,000 miles from the UK to Brazil. Charlie Webster was one of the headliners of the gig, along with former rugby players Keith Senior and Paul Highton. When she reached Brazil on August 4 things seemed to be alright; however, by the time the Olympics started on August 5, Charlie Webster wasn't feeling well. She had to be admitted to the hospital the day after the Olympics Opening Ceremony, on August 6 in fact, and things have gotten worse from there.
Charlie Webster's own Twitter account reports that the TV reporter was diagnosed with a rare strain of malaria, which was initially thought to be dehydration caused by the strain of her long bicycle race. She was eventually diagnosed with a bacterial infection and then malaria, per BBC News. The reporter then fell into a coma, where she currently lingers. Her family, including her mother, her brother and even her manager have flown to Rio during her time of need.
She isn't the only individual in Rio who has had health problems. Belgian Olympian Evi Van Acker caught dysentery after competing in the open waters in Rio a little over a week ago, according to reports. The quality of the open waters has been a constant concern for Olympians, their trainers and others in the area, but obviously those aren't the only conerns. People have also been vary wary of the Zika virus heading into the 2016 Olympics. Pregnant US journalist Savannah Guthrie actually declined to report from Rio during the Olympics this year, citing Zika as a reason to be wary of attending.
It's tough that Charlie Webster not only got sick while visiting Rio and biking though the surrounding areas, especially since she managed to catch an extremely rare strain of a bacterial infection. Our hearts go out to her family as they wait for her to get better during this tough time.