Everything you touch is covered in poop

Poop is everywhere and although we all suspect that surfaces like subway poles, railings, and doorknobs are covered in toilet germs, we can’t imagine that some bacteria found in poop are also in unexpected places such as in an iced coffee, on cash, in pools, in gyms or on mobile phones.

According to a BBC report, it was found that iced drinks from popular coffee chains like Costa Coffee, Starbucks, and Caffè Nero contained traces of such germs in their ice cubes probably because of contamination of water, ice machine, or some used utensils. In another previous report instead, more than 100 different strains of bacteria on dirty money were found after swabbing $1 bills in New York City. But it’s not all. The CDC reported that poop in public pools helped double outbreaks of the cryptosporidium parasite between 2014 and 2016, which is spread when people swallow water contaminated with diarrhea or feces.

“It is not easily killed by chlorine and can survive up to 10 days in properly treated water”, the CDC warned.

Another study, instead, found that dumbbells in gyms are dirtier than a toilet seat because free-weights crawls with 62 times more bacteria than public toilets, including gram-positive cocci that can result in skin infections and sepsis. But there’s more if we consider this 2011 study that found that 1 in 6 UK mobile phones is contaminated with fecal matter. Not to mention your purse that picks up crap when you place it on the floor between your feet on the subway or in a bathroom stall. “About a third of them have fecal bacteria on them”, Charles Gerba, a University of Arizona microbiologist explained.

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If you think about it, it’s not that illogical: everyone poops, so everyone is a potential carrier of that kind of bacteria.

“We are bathed, as a society, in human feces”, said Dr. Philip Tierno, a clinical professor of Microbiology and Pathology at the NYU School of Medicine. “People spread whatever they have on their hands, like feces, which can be transmitted very easily”. He then added that fecal matter can survive for days or weeks on surfaces, depending on the type of bacteria, “so washing your hands is imperative before you eat or drink anything, and before you touch your face”.

However, Dr. Ben Chapman, a food safety specialist and associate professor at North Carolina State University, is skeptical of the BBC report, because, for him, it didn’t identify which strains of bacteria were found, nor whether any of the pathogens were still alive.

“What this report is showing is that bacteria is there, not that it’s making anyone sick”, he assured. We’re exposed to bacteria all day, every day, and most of it doesn’t sicken us. “And in the specific cases where it does make us sick, it’s thousands and thousands of bacteria from feces that cause illness”, he added. “Trace amounts of bacteria are not going to make you sick”.

Anyway, you can protect yourself just by washing your hands properly with soap and hot water, especially after leaving a bathroom and before touching your face. In addition, regularly wipe down your home surfaces, office surfaces, your phone, and your bag with disinfectant.

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And make peace with the fact that poop is everywhere.

“If you look for feces, you’re gonna find it”, said Chapman. “In fact, it would be a bigger surprise to me if someone did a study looking for bacteria like this, and they didn’t find it”.

So, if someone say it’s a shitty world, now we know it’s scientifically proven.

Source New York Post