What Kind of Bacteria Is on Toilet Seats?

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People who are germ-conscious often become even more cautious when using public facilities--especially when sitting on a toilet seat. Bacteria does reside on toilet seats, but the dangers of getting an infection from a toilet seat are less than one might think.

Types of Bacteria

  • Streptococcus is one type of bacteria that is found on toilet seats. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, streptococcus A strains are found in the throat and skin and can cause strep throat and impetigo, a common skin infection that primarily affects children.

Other Types

  • Staphylococcus is another bacteria that lurks on toilet seats. Strains of this bacteria are known to cause skin infections including boils, impetigo and cellulitis. E. Coli and shigella are two other types of bacteria that can be found on toilet seats.

Function

  • Bacteria on toilet seats tend to die relatively quickly, according to Webmd.com: What Can You Catch in Restrooms? People with healthy immune systems do not usually have to worry about getting diseases from toilet seats as long as they wash their hands.

Considerations

  • Bacteria such as E. Coli that reside inside the toilet pose a greater risk than bacteria found on the surface of a toilet seat. Bacteria from the inside of the toilet pose the greatest risk when the toilet is flushed as they are present in the water that sprays out, and can be easily inhaled. Bacteria is also found underneath the toilet seat.

Warning

  • Individuals with lesions or sores on their buttocks may be more susceptible to bacterial infections from a toilet seat.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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