I am reading on Facebook and hearing from many friends that some nasty stomach bugs are going around Atlanta.
A new study of hospital toilets shows that it’s critical to close the lid on the toilet before flushing to help prevent the spread of diarrhea-causing bacteria.
“Researchers from Leeds Teaching Hospitals in the U.K. detected C. difficile – a germ that can cause diarrhea and even life-threatening inflammation of the colon – nearly 10 inches above the toilet seat after flushing lidless hospital toilets. C. difficile is frequently found in hospitals and long-term care facilities were antibiotics are common.”
“The highest numbers of C. difficile were recovered from air sampled immediately following flushing, and then declined 8-fold after 60 [minutes] and a further 3-fold after 90 [minutes],” the researchers reported in the January issue of the Journal of Hospital Infection.
“C. difficile was spotted on surrounding surfaces 90 minutes after flushing, with an average of 15 to 47 contaminated toilet water droplets landing in the nearby environment, according to the study.”
” ‘Almost everywhere we go, except in some public spaces, we have lids on our commodes. But not everyone puts them down when they flush,’ said Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. ‘Doing so will reduce this type of environmental contamination very substantially.’ “
And always remember to wash your hands!
Has your family been hit with the stomach bug yet? Do your kids flush with the lid down? Do you? Will you make that change? Do you believe it will make a difference?