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In Ypacarai Lake, antibiotics and other contaminants are being studied

San Bernardino: UK and UNA experts analyze the quality of Lake Ypacarai. The focus is on epidemiological risks that can endanger the health of the population.

The investigation into Lake Ypacaraí will be conducted under an agreement between Asunción National University (UNA) and the University of Newcastle in England. Foreign researchers will sample water at 11 locations, both in the lake and in streams that flow into the water. The results would be available in six to eight months.

"Studies have also been done via satellite to visually check for various contamination at each point," says Sc. Elías Berra, Spatial Information and Remote Sensing Specialist at the University of Newcastle. This determines the dynamics of the water and how the microbiological risks are distributed within the same water body.

"We determine the quality of the lake from an epidemiological perspective, which poses a threat to the health of the local population," explains Marcos Quintela Baluja, a molecular biology specialist in Newcastle, England.

Detection of antibiotic resistance genes is one of the aspects that must be examined. The possible presence could be the result of use for human and animal treatments that release feces and urine, as well as overuse in the industrial sector. Due to lack of sanitary infrastructure, they enter the waterways via wastewater.

The water sampling points were: San Bernardino, Ypacaraí and Areguá beaches, as well as other areas of the lake. Also at the mouth of the Salado River and the Pirayú, Ypucu, San Lorenzo and Capiatá creeks.

The idea is also to raise funds so that UK professionals can be trained on issues of water epidemiology and wastewater treatment.

"It's in a state of decay in the lake. The treatment takes about 15 years," said Marcos Quintela, a biologist.

Weekly Work / Ultima Hora

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