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Are Wet Toilet Seats Dangerous?

Q. I wish people who sprinkle on toilet seats in public bathrooms would dry them off afterwards. I have urinary urgency and can’t squat over the seat, so I really wish others would be more considerate.

My daughter is a doctor. She has assured me I can’t catch herpes from a dry toilet seat, but it is the wet seats that worry me.

A. Health professionals insist that herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that cannot be transmitted from toilet seats. That said, we have heard from a number of people who are absolutely convinced they caught herpes from exercise equipment or a toilet seat.

Readers have suggested carrying disposable toilet seat covers (available in most pharmacies). Another option is to use a Clorox wipe on the seat before drying it with a paper towel.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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