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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can illnesses be contracted after coming in contact with another's bodily fluid?

Answered by
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Dr. S. Murugan

HIV AIDS Specialist

Practicing since :1974

Answered : 2770 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 15 Mar 2017 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Question: Hi Dr,

I once saw a guy place his hands in his undies and touch his genitals in public, then proceed to the checkout at the shops, it is highly likely that registers are not cleaned by the staff, how likely are his germs spreadable and able to cause harm to others if I purchase items straight after him. Are his germs able to survive on the cereal boxes, chip packets and stationary that I purchased?

Thank you
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 44 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Proper hand washing will protect you untoward effects

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Thanks for posting your query.
Such sort of activities are met with our day-to-day activities at every walks of life. This would definitely increase the chances for contamination.
When we buy things properly packed, it will not affect the products inside.
Such contaminations can cause diarrheal diseases and skin diseases.
This could be overcome easily by a sanitary hand wash or washing with soap and water or antiseptic solutions. Not to worry much.
Basic hygiene and manners should be taught from school and from home.
Dr S Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan 1 hour later
Hi Dr XXXXXXX

Thank you for your prompt reply!
So having him scratch his genitals in public has no risk to the products I purchased straight after him? but wouldn't his germs survive on the products I purchased?

What if he had dandruff in his genitals and then I touched the plastic around the stapler I purchased and then proceeded to open the stapler, wouldn't his germs transfer to the stapler I bought? How likely will they survive and cause illness to myself?

Thank you!!
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 21 hours later
Brief Answer:
The chances of you to get ill through such handling is remote.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome back.
The possibility of transmission of germs from his hands to the articles touched by him can not be ruled out, they can survive outside for a while.
This could be transferred to the successive consumer who touched the same is also quite possible.
At the same time, manifesting diseases due to that in a immune competent individual is a rare possibility, especially after a hand wash or usage of hand sanitizer.
So not to worry as long as your immune system is intact.
We, in our body have multi-levels of protection either through the entry through skin or through mouth against germs, right from skin and mucus membrane lining of our boy up to the entry into blood circulation or in the gut.
Moreover organisms of dandruff passing from one person to another person through handling some objects are uncommon.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan 28 hours later
What are the risks? Will I get sick?
What type of germs would you think will be found on my products? Are they harmful?
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 43 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Proper hand wash can avoid these diseases

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome back
Certain organisms causing intestinal infections (Diarrhea) can be there and likely to give problems rarely.
Certain virus causing cold, conjunctivitis, swine fever etc. can be transmitted in this way in extraordinary situations.
With proper hand washing we can avoid these infections.
Dr S Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan 44 minutes later
Will those germs be able to survive on my products? or products that have plastic? Will I be likely to recontaminate something that has been touched by him, then by the sales person then on my products?

Thank you
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
If the things are packed well contamination through the pack is unlikely

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome back.
If the products purchased by you were packed and sealed properly, then the chance of contamination is remote.
Organisms can not survive over the package material for a longer time.
So the contamination to the substance inside the package is quite unlikely.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan 12 minutes later
What germs/bacteria do you think may be present on cardboard and plastic?
What are the chances of me getting sick and transferring germs from my products to other people?
Thanks
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 7 hours later
Brief Answer:
Contamination through intact packages is quite unlikely

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome back.
In the environment and anywhere including the packages in the shops, there would be lot of germs present. Most of them are non-pathogenic and even few pathogenic organisms can rarely cause illness because of the innate immunity of our body. This will also be applicable for cardboard and plastic packing materials.

Factors like moisture,dust, blood and carbohydrate material facilitate the growth of any microorganisms.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan 11 hours later
Hi Dr,

Because he touched his genitals, wouldn't we be transferring his genital germs around?? How likely will they be able to survive and cause a disease? Also what about if it was dried discharge?

Will those germs from dried discharge specs(small white dots) be able to survive on inanimate objects which the person touched straight after if they forgotten to wash their hands after contact with the tiny specs

whats is the likelihood of the spread of germ and getting sick?? is it harmful? what germs are present?
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 20 hours later
Brief Answer:
Immuno-competent persons have least risk.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome back.
This could have happened to everybody, especially in a family living together. Everybody's genitals are having normal bacterial flora. Most of them are non pathogenic. The pathogenic organisms are also can do harm if the individual is an immunosuppressive. Normal individual with good immunity will not get affected. Even if that individual had sexually transmitted disease, almost all of these organisms are highly fragile and they can not live outside the body or body fluids.
Anyhow washing hands before going out, before doing any act and after are advisable to reduce this least risk.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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