By Joyce Gathu
Exhaling gratefully, you then proceed to take care of the business that took you there.
Unbeknown to you, you may leave the toilet with a virus and or bacteria that may cause you more problems than you can imagine.
Although you are unlikely to catch a sexually transmitted disease (STD) from a toilet seat, since most microorganisms that cause STDs cannot survive for long outside the human body, and also because a person’s genitals do not make contact with the toilet seat, you could catch a wide range of viruses such as Hepatitis A and the common cold.
Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease caused by Hepatitis A virus. This virus is found in the stool of people already living with Hepatitis A.
“It can be transmitted from one person to the other through close personal contact. For instance, through toilet seats,” explains Dr Patricia Oyier, a general practitioner in Nairobi.
One in every five people with Hepatitis A is often hospitalised, while others find themselves sick for an entire month, incapacitated and unable to work.
The condition can also be fatal
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about three to six deaths occur per 1,000 cases.
But that is not all; you may also acquire streptococcal infections, a bacteria that causes a variety of health problems including pneumonia, meningitis, urinary tract infections, blood and skin infections.