Even before the Covid-19, the fear of using a public washroom or restroom was real for many of us. Well, it should come as no surprise that public washrooms are home to a number of nasty bugs. Disease-causing germs and bacteria can survive in the toilet seat, the sink, the floor, as well as other surfaces that may be frequently touched by others: the flush handle, the tap handle, doorknob, etc. Even the best maintained public washrooms can spread diseases. Considering the recent pandemic, this informative blog brings you a list of diseases you might get from a public washroom and a few helpful ways to lower the risks of cross-contamination.
3 Most Common Infections With Public Washrooms
Let’s face it, going to the public washrooms feels like a dangerous adventure. It is no surprise that public washrooms create perfect conditions for germs and bacteria to grow and spread. Even if public washrooms are cleaned or sanitised from time to time, they are not hygienic. Outlined below are three infections you should be wary of before using a public washroom.
1. Viral Infection
Since public toilet seats are full of several unseen viruses that can make you sick, there is a risk of catching a common cold in public washrooms. Well, the virus responsible for the common cold survives for a very short time; hence it is less likely to infect you. However other viruses like norovirus, influenza, etc. can live for a longer time on the surfaces of the public washroom. And, individuals of all ages can get sick and infected with these contagious viruses.
2. Gut Infection
Next in the list is one of the most common infections acquired by the use of public washrooms. Shigella is one of the most abundant bugs that survives on the washroom surfaces for a long time. Contamination of toilet surfaces by an infected individual’s faeces can easily spread their infections. Shigella bacteria affect the digestive system and cause severe diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, dysentery, etc.
3. Lung And Skin Infection
Previous research showed that streptococcus and staphylococcus bacteria can linger around the seat and other toilet surfaces for longer periods and spread from one individual to the next. If you come in with the contaminated toilet surfaces, you will be exposed to these bacteria, thereby putting yourself at the risk of contracting lung and skin infections.
How To Stay Safe In A Public Washroom?
To reduce your risk of contracting disease-causing microbes or just helping you feel more comfortable while using a public washroom there are some important tips to keep in mind.
Each one of us uses a public washroom every day. Therefore, make it a ritual to carry a toilet seat sanitizer spray and a mini packet of antiseptic wipes when you head out. They are extremely portable and can be easily carried in your hand bag or even your pocket.
You may not realize it but a door knob of a public restroom or washroom is one of the hotspots of germs and bacteria, so make sure you enter the washroom like a pro without touching it. Use an antiseptic wipe to open the doorknob of a public washroom.
Whether the toilet seat appears clean or dirty, be sure to clean it with disinfectant wipes or toilet seat sanitiser with you to prevent the spread of numerous toilet infections.
Never ever forget to press the flush button once you are done. But rather than pressing the flush handle with your hands, wrap your finger with toilet paper then and then flush.
It is important to follow the same standard hygiene rule. Wash your hands with a hand wash or soap thoroughly for at least 20 seconds after using the toilet and don’t forget to wipe your hands dry with tissue paper.
Sanitise your hands repeatedly with an antiseptic hand sanitiser even after you have washed them. Hand sanitisers are a great alternative when a liquid hand wash and water are not available. Always carry a good pocket-friendly hand sanitiser with you.
The bottom line
We understand that a public washroom isn’t always the cleanest or most pleasant place to visit, but we do not really have a choice when nature calls. However, by keeping the aforementioned tips in mind, you can protect yourself from infections that can be acquired from public washrooms.