How is herpes spread? Outside the body, the herpes virus lives a very short life. It dies quickly on surfaces, such as toilet seats. Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection STI. Herpes is very common in American adults. The CDC estimates more than 1 out of every 6 people between 14 and 49 have the virus. Both types of herpes are transmitted through mucosal or secretion contact with a person who has the virus.
This contact comes primarily during vaginal, oral, or anal sex, or through kissing. Herpes can also sometimes enter your body through abrasions, cuts, or scrapes if you come into contact with the virus. Many people can have genital herpes and never know it. In fact, some people will have the virus for years before they show telltale signs or symptoms, such as genital blisters that break and ooze, or cold sores around the mouth. The virus can be dormant so long it may be difficult to know when you came into contact with it.
Can you catch other things from a toilet seat? You may not have to worry about contracting herpes from a toilet seat, but you could pick up some other viruses and bacteria. When you press the handle, the toilet sends up a fine spray of microbial droplets, which can land on nearby surfaces. When you, in turn, touch these surfaces, you can pick up any number of germs.
The following bacteria and viruses can be found on toilets and the surrounding areas: This bacterium affects the digestive system.
One of its common symptoms is diarrhea. Also called staph, this bacterium can linger on surfaces like toilet seats and pass from one person to the next. One type, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus MRSA , can survive on surfaces for as long as three months. It can spread during contact as brief as three seconds. This highly contagious, common virus can last on surfaces for almost two weeks. The flu virus can live up to two or three days on nonporous surfaces like a toilet seat.
It can also survive for that amount of time on your phone, remote control, or a door handle. Where are germs commonly found in the bathroom? One study found that bathroom floors are the surface with the most germs.
More than 68 percent of the germs and bacteria on a bathroom floor come from the outdoors. Only as much a 15 percent comes from fecal matter.