Holy water in Austria unsafe to drink

Researchers said holy water at religious shrines and churches in Austria is often contaminated with fecal matter and bacteria.

Scientists at Vienna University medical school’s Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology advised the faithful not to drink water, especially in hospital chapels.

They came to the conclusion after analyzing the water quality at 21 “holy” springs and 18 fonts at churches and chapels.

“We need to warn people against drinking from these sources,” microbiologist Alexander Kirschner said in the study.

Kirschner said the healing effects ascribed to holy sources arose from the hygienic conditions of the Middle Ages, when water quality in urban areas was generally so poor that people constantly contracted diarrhoea or other conditions.

“If they then came across a protected spring in the forest that was not as polluted and drank from it for several days, their symptoms would disappear. So although in those days they were drinking healthier water, given the excellent quality of our drinking water today, the situation is now completely reversed.”

Sources

Reuters

The Telegraph

Image: The Telegraph

News category: World.

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