Ebola and Public Restrooms
Ebola has many people scared. While it is difficult to contract, that fear is warranted since the illness has a 70 percent fatality rate.
So one of the questions that individuals ask is whether or not they can contract Ebola from something like a toilet seat. The answer is “probably,” but it’s not so much the toilet seat as it is the entire bathroom, from what Marnie has been reading and relaying to me.
It is also important to note that it would have to be a bathroom used by an Ebola victim who is running a fever. Only when there is a fever present is a person in the infectious phase of the illness.
So what are individuals to do when they have to use a public restroom? Because the toilets in department stores and buildings flush powerfully, a mist of droplets can be released in the air. This could be bad news for someone using a toilet after an Ebola infected person.
The key to remaining well is to be vigilant.
Vigilance starts with using toilet seat covers when they are available so there is no direct contact with the toilet seat. It is also best to not stand over a toilet when it flushes. Pressing the button and then immediately exiting or exiting before an automatic toilet flushes can eliminate this exposure.
When washing hands, it is important to avoid contact with as many of the bathroom components as possible. Use paper towels to turn non-automatic faucets on and off. Also use paper towels to create a barrier when touching door handles.
The CDC has published a number of questions and answers about Ebola, how to protect against it, and how to recognize the symptoms.