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Is Your Toilet Carrying Disease?

Originally published on Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2012
Cold and Flu, IMMUNE SYSTEM by

immune systemMany people would rather wait it out then have to face the dreaded public toilet, but are they really as scary as they are made out to be? Most people spend as little time as they can in any kind of public restroom, from the ones at your doctor’s office, to the one in the shopping mall, but are the worries about diseases and millions of tiny bacteria all in your head? But before you flush your next public toilet using a glove-covered hand, read on.

So let’s get one thing pretty obvious thing straight, whenever you are dealing with a public toilet, there is no shortage of germs. But there is a good chance you already knew that. There is little quality assurance when it comes to bathrooms, and all cleaning schedules may vary in not only frequency, but thoroughness as well. But the big myth lies in and around the #1 culprit that has people shaking in their boots is the dreaded public toilet seat.

Bacterial and Viral Infections on Your Toilet Seat

The toilet seat can be a breeding ground of bacteria and germs, that can eventually do a number on your immune system, but when it comes to disease, the public toilet (or the toilet period) is not a common avenue that disease travels down. Experts say this could be due to the fact that many organisms that cause disease can only survive for a short period of time on a toilet seat, and for a bacterial or viral infection to occur, the germs would need to come in direct contact with your genital area, or an open sore on your rear-end which is somewhat unlikely.

But for some people the term ‘somewhat unlikely’ isn’t quite the level of assurance that they need. There have been bacterial and viral infections that are transmitted through the toilet seat that you might want to familiarize yourself with, even if the chances are slim – they aren’t nil. These include:

- Streptococcus
-E. coli
-Hepatitis A
-The common cold virus

Experts recommend that you try your best to keep your immune system healthy as a way to cut down on your chances of getting one of these bacterial of viral infections. Leaving the bathroom stall as quickly as possible to avoid airborne viruses is one avoidance method. Hand-washing and anti-bacterial soap is another one prevention method that shouldn’t be overlooked.

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