Are you one of those people who are always covering the toilet seat in the public toilets with a paper? Do you think that it will protect you from bacteria, germs and prevents you from catching some disease? Nobody can really tell how this habit happen to be, but many people are using it it regularly. Dr. William Schaffner says that the only thing that you are doing with using this habit is providing reassurance and comfort only to yourself and noting more.
The toilet seats can’t transmit any infectious disease so you are totally safe and you can’t catch anything from them. In the past it has believed that the toilet seats can transfer sexually or gastrointestinal infections, but since then this belief has been refuted by many studies. However, there can be found bacteria like streptococcus or E-coli on the toilet seats, but our skin has protective barrier against all those bacteria. So unless you have an open sore or a wound on your skin, you are safe. The bottom line is that there is no difference whether you are covering the toilet seat or not.
If you really want to protect yourself you should be more concerned about the sponge in your kitchen or the cutting board, because they contain 200,000 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat. Also you should be more careful with the door knobs in the toilets, because there are many people who are not washing their hands and they are touching them. With this they are transferring germs and bacteria to innocent people.
So what is the difference? Can you protect yourself and how? Wash your hands with warm water and regular soap more often. This will prevent transferring the germs from your hands to your mouth or the other body parts. The regular hand washing can decrease the diarrheal related disease by 50%.
The video below explains in detail why not covering the toilet seat is completely safe and shouldn’t worry you at all.