Bathrooms aren’t the cleanest areas in a house by default, for obvious reasons – they are prone to be infested with huge numbers of harmful bacteria, which can be avoided by having the facilities properly sterilized and maintained. Although keeping a bathroom clean in a home environment is relatively easy, being aware of what potential bacterial threats you are facing in places such as public toilets is more than worth the bother! Below, we’ve outlined a number of common bacteria that are particularly fond of bathrooms and can either cause infections directly or serve as triggers for countless complications.
Streptococcus is a relatively “popular” disease and most of us have likely experienced issues caused by the bacteria of the same name at some point in our lives. Despite the fact that it’s generally regarded as a common infection, Streptococcus has been a known cause of complications, leading to more severe health problems, ranging anywhere from kidney disease to rheumatic fever. The most common of ailments caused by the Streptococcus bacteria is widely known as “strep throat”, which shouldn’t be taken lightly, even though it’s relatively easy to treat. In order to avoid this disease, maintaining proper hygiene and thoroughly washing your hands after toilet use is recommended. Pro tip: change towels regularly in order to avoid the streptococcus bacteria and many others.
E-Coli is a common bacteria that can be found in human and animal intestinal tracts and feces. It occurs naturally and the majority of these bacterial strains are harmless and even useful, but there are a few that produce disease-causing toxins. Stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and mild fever are to be expected when suffering from this infection. Although these bacteria are most easily contracted by eating raw beef and raw produce that’s potentially contaminated with animal feces, E-Coli can be found in dirty bathrooms, so keeping hygiene levels high is recommended. Finally, keep in mind that this disease is infectious!
Campylobacter is found in raw or undercooked poultry and can be contracted by eating contaminated food, but also by hand-to-mouth transfer. Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and headaches are the expected symptoms of this bacteria. Additionally, Campylobacter is found in house pets, which is why teaching your kids to thoroughly wash their hands after interacting with them is so important.
Found inside the gut of both afflicted humans and animals, this bacteria causes Salmonellosis – Salmonella poisoning – which causes vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and headaches. The symptoms usually last less than a week but are extremely unpleasant and somewhat dangerous. In order to avoid this disease, it is recommended that toilet lids be closed before flushing and that hands be washed after each toilet use. When it comes to eating, raw or undercooked food should be avoided, especially chicken.
Commonly found in stale water, these bacteria are known for being a known trigger of Crohn’s disease, an extremely dangerous affliction. Faulty plumbing can serve as a haven for Crohn-triggering bacteria, which is why running water for a short period of time before taking a shower is advised. Additionally, should be done as soon as possible, in order to avoid this long-term condition that causes the inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract. Persistent diarrhea, fecal urgency, intestinal bleeding, fever and severe weight loss are common symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
The fact that the bathroom isn’t considered the cleanest room by nature doesn’t mean that it should be neglected; on the contrary, maintaining proper bathroom and personal hygiene is the best way to make sure to avoid succumbing to these bacteria-caused ailments. Avoiding public restrooms is advised and, if visiting one is unavoidable, using proper sanitary equipment is recommended. Pro tip: when it comes to public restrooms, using liquid soap is always better than going with soap bars!