Can you get genital herpes from a toilet seat?
It's very unlikely that you would get genital herpes from a toilet seat. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) spread by skin-to-skin contact.
In most cases, the virus enters your body through mucous membranes — the type of skin found in your mouth, genitals or anus. The virus can also enter your body through skin that has tiny scrapes or tears.
People can have genital herpes for years without knowing it. The virus can be spread even if an infected person has no genital sores.
Because the virus dies quickly outside of the body, it's nearly impossible to get the infection through contact with toilets, towels or other objects used by an infected person.
Pritish K. Tosh, M.D.
July 03, 2020
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- Kliegman RM, et al. Herpes simplex virus. In: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
- Albrecht MA. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of genital herpes simplex virus infection. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
- Genital herpes - CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes-detailed.htm. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.
- Genital herpes. Merck Manual Professional Version. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious-diseases/herpesviruses/genital-herpes. Accessed Jan. 31, 2017.