Germs, germs, germs

Germs, germs, germs

Researchers find disease-causing bacteria in restrooms

Story by Allyson Fox  Video by Chris Bilowich

Dr. Lennox Archibald

All the rumors about germ-infested public restrooms may be true.

UF researchers tested bathrooms in airplanes, restaurants, hospitals and other busy locations and swabbed faucets, door handles and paper towel dispensers. They found that these areas were contaminated with illness-causing germs that could lead to infectious disease transmission. The findings were presented in October at the Infectious Diseases Society of America annual meeting.

“Basically you are re-contaminating your hands,” said Lennox Archibald, M.D., a UF epidemiologist who led the study. “It doesn’t necessarily mean the person is going to get ill. What it means is that the person whose hands are contaminated is more likely to facilitate transmission of pathogens to susceptible individuals.”

Researchers say if you have to use a public restroom, avoid touching surfaces after washing your hands, and when possible, use electric hand-dryers in restrooms.