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Is there a contagious disease when going to a public restroom?

Toilets are home to many types of bacteria, especially in public places that are not cleaned and disinfected, potentially causing many diseases.

However, most sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea… are transmitted through direct contact between genital organs and genital secretions such as semen and vaginal secretions when relationship. Only when bacteria and viruses are transmitted directly from the toilet seat to the genital tract or through an open wound or scratch can it cause illness. Therefore, skin-to-skin contact in public restrooms does not lead to these diseases.

Genital warts caused by the HPV virus are an exception. HPV is mainly transmitted through sexual contact. However, there is a lot of medical evidence that the HPV virus can be transmitted by simple skin-to-skin contact.

The HPV virus can survive for days between fingers, fingernails, or other public contact surfaces. The disease can be spread by contact, for example, through the skin of hands, feet, and toilet doorknobs. Thus, although very rare, genital warts can be transmitted through contact when going to the toilet without washing hands, through the toilet, door handles …

In the case of oral sex, there is also a potential risk of HPV transmission. In fact, the hospital has received many cases of genital warts in the larynx and throat due to HPV transmission during unsafe oral sex. In particular, the HPV virus can be transmitted to others even if the infected person does not show any signs or symptoms.

To limit the risk of infection, you should keep your hygiene clean, wash your hands after using the toilet and bring antibacterial hand sanitizer. When going to the toilet, you can put the paper on the toilet mouth or wipe it with an antibacterial towel before using it. Don’t worry too much, but don’t be subjective. When you have health problems, you should go to the doctor early to get definitive treatment, to avoid long-term complications.

Master doctor Phan Chi Thanh

Department of Examination, Central Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital

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