ABC News reported Saturday that scientists found traces of bacteria related to what is found in sewage in holy water around Europe.
A team of researchers at the Medical University of Vienna published the findings in the Journal of Water and Health.
They found that 21 fountains in Austria and 18 fonts in Vienna were contaminated with nitrates, E.coli and other dangerous bacteria. The water in these fountains was used to baptize children and consumed by churchgoers in the area.
It was shown that 86 percent of the samples were contaminated and not safe to touch or drink. The samples contained up to 62 million bacteria per milliliter of the supposedly blessed water.
"This may represent a problem that has hitherto been underestimated, especially in hospitals, since there a lot of people with weakened immune systems there," said Dr. Alexander Kirschner, researcher at the Medical University of Vienna according to the report.
Holy water in churches and hospital chapel fonts also contained the bacteria.
"We need to warn people against drinking from these sources," Kirschner said.
The bacteria found in the water can cause severe diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and even death in younger children who have come in contact with it.
Kali Hardig contracted parasitic meningitis from a water park and was near death, but survived despite the recent death of a boy in Louisiana with the same infection.
The boy, Bernard Parish, died from the infection that he got from his area’s drinking water.