Can You Get Coronavirus From a Public Bathroom?

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As Coronavirus sweeps the globe, many people have asked how they can contract it. Can you get Coronavirus from a public restroom?

The short answer is that it is possible to get coronavirus from a public restroom. The World Health Organization reports, “It’s not certain how long the virus that causes Coronavirus survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses — including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus — may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days.”

Bathrooms, they go on to write, are welcome environments for coronavirus.

The CDC states that you can get coronavirus from touching an object. “Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.”

The website adds that the Coronavirus is very new and we are still learning how it spreads.

Here’s what you need to know:


Previous Coronaviruses Could Remain Viable for up to 9 Days

At this point, much is still unknown about the coronavirus. But according to Luis Ostrosky, a professor and vice chairman of internal medicine at McGovern Medical School in Houston, Texas, previous coronaviruses could remain viable for up to nine days.

He recommends that those who are living with an infected individual should not share a bathroom with them.

Family Doctor adds that COVID-19 “might” be caused by “touching something an infected person has touched and then touching your hand to your mouth, nose, or eyes.”

That being said, the risk of contracting COVID-19 from touching surfaces and objects with the virus is likely much lower than from droplets spread by sick patients.


The CDC Recommends Washing Your Hands for at Least 20 Seconds

The next question is: how can you protect yourself if you have touched a possibly infected surface? The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds. (The Center for Disease Control also points to a 2009 study that shows that 31% of men and 65% of women wash their hands after using a public restroom.)

Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth. Household wipes and sprays should be used to disinfect toilets and sinks, and other objects that often get touched.

The CDC writes, “The CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 90 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named ‘SARS-CoV-2’ and the disease it causes has been named ‘coronavirus disease 2019’ (abbreviated ‘COVID-19’).”

Coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China in December, and has made its way to 100 locations internationally since. On March 11, 2020, it was classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization. People in close contact with someone known to have the virus or have recently been in a location with an ongoing spread are at increased risk of contracting the virus.

While most cases result in mild illness, a new report from China shows serious illness in as many as 16% of cases.

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