The bathrooms in the dorms are communal: everyone shares the showers, sinks, and toilet… essentially increasing the potential of spreading and sharing germs. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of what they are exposing themselves to. Yes, the bathrooms are cleaned weekly, but bacteria can spread within seconds. So, dorm residents, be aware of what you are touching and doing in the bathroom.
Through a survey of my fellow dorm mates, all said that they wash their hands with soap before leaving, make sure to wipe the toilet seat if they “sprayed,” wear shoes or flip-flops in the bathroom, and make sure to clean up if they’ve made a mess. But after observing their bathroom habits, I noticed they may not have all been telling the truth. I’ve also seen my fair share of people walking in the bathrooms barefoot, brushing their teeth and spitting all over the sink, and not washing their hands after using the restroom and then opening the door.
Bacterial meningitis is an infection that can cause vomiting or nausea, along with headache, fevers, or skin rashes. It can be spread through saliva, so be careful of the sinks and other shared surfaces, as they could be coated with saliva, mucus, sweat, and so on. Mucus and sweat can also spread colds, flu, or other infections. If you can, wipe down the countertops with a sanitary wipe. You can get a meningitis vaccination for prevention. Also make sure to wash your hands frequently. This will help everyone!
Going into the shower? Flip-flops all the way. You don’t know what has gotten on the shower floors, and I don’t think you want to. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot thrives in warm and wet environments like the shower. These infections are especially prominent in communal areas because anyone could have it, like the person who used the shower before you. Also make sure to dry in between your toes to prevent fungal growth.
All in all, try to touch as little as possible! Of course, the bathroom isn’t this diseased, contaminated, infected zone, but it’s best to protect yourself from potentially harming yourself, and as a student, getting ill is just the worst. So be cautious, and make sure to do all you can to stay in tip-top shape!
- Athlete’s foot Definition – Diseases and Conditions from Mayo Clinic by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/athletes-foot/DS00317>
- Meningitis Definition – Diseases and Conditions from Mayo Clinic by Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/meningitis/DS00118>
Article by Hien Do
Feature Image Source: The Daily Californian