Are you a little guilty of not washing out your - or the kids! - water bottles as much as you should? Well you might want to rethink that.
A new study from Brazil has been released, showing that our reusable water bottles are harbouring a lot more nasty bacteria than we thought. Urghhh, GROSS.
In the new research, scientists randomly walked into a gym and asked to test 30 gym members’ water bottles for testing. The result? A whopping 83% had bacteria contamination - including staphylococcus aureus (staph) and the particularly nasty E.coli.
‘We tested in a real-world scenario, by surprise, asking for [bottles of] those who were arriving at the gym at those particular days,’ study author Gilmar Weber Senna, Ph.D., professor at the Federal University of State of Rio de Janeiro told Runner’s World. ‘We did this to avoid an intentional over-cleaning.’
So how do so many nasties end up in our water bottles? Well Dr Philip Tierno, professor of microbiology and pathology at the NYU School of Medicine, tells Men’s Health that it most probably comes from contamination while handling.
Meaning that if you don’t wash your hands after the toilet or touch your face or nose before refilling your water, there’s a good chance you’re passing on serious bacterias.
The answer? Make sure you wash your water bottle properly - and wash your hands very well before refilling your drink.
“Wash for 20 seconds. Get soap on the top and bottom of hands and in between digits and under the nail bed,” Teirno tells Men’s Health. “Run your hands like a claw in the centre of the opposite palm to get suds into nail bed, and sing the song ‘Happy Birthday’ twice to wash hands adequately.”
E.Coli - The Dangers and Risks*
Symptoms of infection from E.coli contamination typically appear three to four days after being exposed to the bacteria. However, symptoms may appear as early as 24 hours or as late as one week later.
These can include:
- abdominal pain or severe abdominal cramping, often starting suddenly
- watery diarrhoea, beginning a few hours after the pain begins
- bright red bloody stools around a day later, resulting from the toxin's damage to the intestines
- nausea and, in some cases, vomiting
- in some cases, fever
- fatigue, resulting from dehydration and the loss of fluids and electrolytes
Some people have no noticeable symptoms, but they can spread the infection to others.
* Source: Medicalnews.com