Bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic diseases exist on the skin and in mucus, blood and other body fluids. Some germs are transferred through inhalation and others are obtained by touch. The transfer of fecal-to-oral diseases occurs when an infected person does not use good hand-washing technique with soap and water and handles food content or any substance that enters the mouth. Washing hands after bathroom use can significantly reduce transmission of diseases and illness.
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Hand-foot-mouth disease, caused by the coxsackie virus and other enteroviruses, shows symptoms of blister-like bumps in the mouth, on the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet, reports Children's Hospital Boston. The virus spreads by ingesting food or drink contaminated with fecal content. Thorough washing of the hands following bathroom use is vital in preventing the spread of hand-foot-mouth disease. Since antibiotics are ineffective against viruses, treatment consists of comfort measures for fever and blisters.
Hepatitis A, a highly contagious viral liver infection, manifests with symptoms such as fatigue, yellowing of the skin, dark urine, nausea and vomiting. MayoClinic.com reports that symptoms usually don't appear until a month after incurring the virus, and the symptoms last from less than two to six months. Some people with hepatitis A never show any signs of the disease.
Hepatitis A transmission occurs when someone contaminated with the virus does not thoroughly wash his or her hands after bathroom use and handles food consumed by others. Treatment for a known hepatitis A exposure includes a hepatitis A vaccine within two weeks of exposure.
Shigellosis is a bacterial infection with symptoms that include watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. If the disease progresses to dysentery, the stool contains mucus, blood and pus. Shigellosis spreads easily from one person to another by ingesting food contaminated by infected people who do not use adequate hand-washing technique with soap and water after using the bathroom.
The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library states that symptoms usually resolve within four to eight days. Treatment with antibiotics such as azithromycin or ciprofloxacin is prescribed, if the infection is severe.
Giardiasis is a parasitic illness of the intestine with symptoms such as gas, cramping and diarrhea. Giardiasis spreads easily by drinking infected water from untreated sources or by hand-to-fecal contact. FamilyDoctor.org reports that workers in daycare centers should use thorough hand-washing techniques after diaper changes to help prevent the spread of giardiasis from one child to another.
Diagnosis requires examination of stool samples under a microscope. Treatment usually consists of metronidazole for five to 10 days. For children younger than 5, furazolidone may be the treatment of choice. The doctor may request a repeat sample to confirm the disease is totally gone.