Surely more than once you have heard that it is best not to use public toilet facilities. And the big question is whether you really can catch any disease by using a public toilet.
Luckily for us, Dr. Preethi Daniel, of the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, has decided to relieve our doubt by writing an article published in Healthista.
She says, “You are more likely to be struck by lightning whilst riding a flying pig than catching a sexually transmitted disease from a public toilet seat.” So don’t worry.
Apparently, over the years, Daniel has seen hundreds of patients who are scared and have questions about whether they really can get diseases such as chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, simply by using a public toilet, for which the doctor always has the same answer: “there is no medical evidence that supports the transmission of disease from a public bathroom“.
Is it true that germs lie in wait for us from the cup of the toilet?
She emphasizes that there are more gems on the floor of a public toilet than on the toilet seat itself. So the first and most important measure to come out healthy and safe from a public toilet would be to go with shoes.
Interestingly, trying to avoid a urine infection when you are in a public restroom is what could actually make you likely to contract an infection. According to Dr. Daniel, to do it all with haste and force and a squatting postures to avoid touching the toilet seat are what can give us a urine infection. By not emptying our bladder completely, being in a hurry or if you are squatting you inadvertently expose your body to potentially harmful bacteria which in turn increase your chances of getting a urinary tract infection.
Three tips to keep germs at bay in a public toilet
If you want to win the next time you can’t ignore the call of nature, you will want to follow these three tips:
- Be sure to wash your hands well after you use the toilet
- Carry a travel-size anti-bacterial hand sanitizer for extra protection.
- Cover the toilet seat with toilet paper or use anti-bacterial wipes before you sit down.
The Centre for Control and Prevention of Diseases reported that the correct use of soap and water for hand-washing can reduce deaths related to diarrhoeal diseases by up to 50%.
To wash hands properly you should wet them with water, apply soap, lather and rub for at least 20 seconds before rinsing with water.
Well done! You now know all you have to do to emerge unscathed from a visit to a public restroom.
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