Medical Mythbuster: Can You Really Catch a Disease From a Toilet Seat?

Not surprisingly, many of us can feel uneasy using a public restroom. Even if it looks clean, we wonder about all the germs that could be lurking there. Fortunately, it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll catch something from sitting on a toilet seat in a public restroom. Most germs, like the common cold, can’t survive long on the cold, hard surfaces of a toilet seat. You also don’t need to worry about syphilis and gonorrhea when using a restroom since venereal diseases require sexual contact for transmission. (In fact, there’s no evidence anyone has ever caught a venereal disease using a toilet in a public restroom.)

However, there are some diseases you do need to worry about when using a public restroom. One of them is the norovirus. This particular germ (found in fecal matter) lasts longer on surfaces than others and can easily find its way onto faucet handles and doorknobs as well as other surfaces. That’s why it’s essential to thoroughly wash your hands after using a public lavatory. (Unfortunately, studies have shown that not everyone does this.) So it’s okay to be a little nervous when using the restroom at work, the theatre or a ballpark – just make sure your hands are thoroughly clean upon leaving.

8 Responses

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  1. Posted by Toliet sitter

    I was just tryna see if you could get an std from sitting on a toliet someone else with one has sat on

    October 3, 2019 6:02 pm Reply
    • Posted by Reliant Medical Group

      STDs require sexual contact for transmission. There’s no evidence anyone has ever caught a venereal disease using a toilet in a public restroom.

      October 7, 2019 9:24 am Reply
  2. Posted by Russ

    What is the point of washing your hands if the last thing you touch is the faucet handle which is probably the dirtiest part of the sink

    August 13, 2019 4:46 pm Reply
    • Posted by Molly deLacy

      That is why you are supposed to turn off the faucet using a paper towel or towel instead of your hands, so that you can avoid getting your hands dirty again. Also a good idea to turn on the faucet while using a paper towel as well so that you don’t transfer any germs to begin with, but, unfortunately not everyone does this. That’s why I carry wipes with me everywhere to clean any surfaces that may be contaminated such as public tables, seats, lights, and especially remotes or phones in hotels etc. Not a germaphobe though, but, you never know especially when you have little ones around.

      September 3, 2019 10:12 pm Reply
      • Posted by ShadNuke

        And how many public restroom actually have paper towels anymore? I rarely see towels, it’s all about them blowers!

        September 27, 2019 10:26 am
  3. Posted by Maxine jolly

    I have 3welt like bumps on my right buttock near the crack of my but, what could this be

    July 30, 2018 2:40 am Reply
    • Posted by Reliant Medical Group

      Hi Maxine. Please consult your primary care physician on this matter.

      July 30, 2018 9:31 am Reply
  4. Posted by manoj mathew

    A very interesting and useful information is given here. The importance of ashing hands before and after using a toilet is very well defined here. Hope all who read this follows this guideline.

    September 22, 2017 3:30 pm Reply

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