Is it possible to contract a disease through contact with my own fecal matter?

Sorry for the subject matter! I have serious anxiety issues, possibly crossed with OCD, and seriously need to find an answer to this. Without getting into the details, let’s just say that I may have come into contact with my own fecal matter a few days ago and am now worried about the possibility of contracting a disease. Actually, I’m not so much worried about my own health; if I get sick, I get sick. Rather, I’m concerned about spreading a disease to other people - especially because I work in a retail pharmacy and actually fill people’s medication for them (although I’m not a pharmacist, so I have zero actual medical knowledge - hence why I’m asking this question).

Supposing that it is possible to get sick from one’s own fecal matter, would there always be symptoms? Because if I get sick from this, then I can at least try and figure out how to minimize the risk to other people. But if I never show any symptoms myself, then is it possible that I’ve still contracted a disease that could be transmitted to other people? If so, then I’m very concerned, because then there would be no way of knowing whether or not I’m contaminating other people’s medication!

please calm down and go and see a doctor. This board is not the place to get medical advice. you are probably 100 percent ok but non of us here can tell you that. In general you cannot get a new disease from you own waste material (feces).

Medical advice is best suited to IMHO.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

Did you really think this had somehow not already been discussed on this board? Silly rabbit.

Can you get sick from your own poop or just other peoples?
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=719393

Well…most of the responses on that thread suggest that you can get sick from your own fecal matter, although a few people seemed to think otherwise. I didn’t notice any genuine evidence being offered one way or the other, so I’m still not really sure what to think. If anyone has more information, then please do get back to me!

Leave your poop in the toilet where it belongs.

Problem solved.

it would kind of help if you mentioned the name of the disease you are worried about. They don’t all work in the same way.

I’m reminded of an former poster who often posted questions similar to this one. Is it just me?

Isn’t the pharmacist supposed to fill prescriptions? Are you not licensed to do that?

And are you sure it’s your own poop? What activities have you been engaging in? :wink:

The issue is that I occasionally get fecal stains on my boxers. There’s no particular disease that I’m worried about. I’m just concerned that I could wind up spreading something to a patient in the pharmacy. And no, you don’t actually need any kind of license to fill medication - after about a ninth month period, you do need to test for a license, but up until that point, there’s no policy keeping untrained retail workers from filling people’s prescriptions. My whole experience working in the pharmacy has been very unsettling. I actually plan on leaving the job soon, but in the meantime, I’m becoming paranoid about transmitting some sort of contagious disease.

time for you to pick a different profession - you know sick people come to pick up meds, right?

IANAD, but it’s good practice to wash your hands thoroughly before leaving the restroom.

Have you tried two pairs of underwear.

Depends what you mean by ‘contract’ a disease - if you got your own fecal matter in your own eyes, it could certainly cause an infection. If you got your own fecal matter in your own bloodstream, it might be something serious.

**Stranger on a Train **made a good post elsewhere:

If you wash your hands and don’t actually touch the meds (which I hope you don’t, most pharmacists use tools to count them out and bottle them) you’re pretty unlikely to transmit any disease. Particularly since you don’t actually seem to have one.

Yes bacteria from your own body can make you sick. Especially if that bacteria is able to multiply and enter a different area of your body. Or grow out of control in the area of your body in which it typically resides.

One interesting thing to read about is women and Toxic Shock Syndrome - they were wearing “new long term wear tampons” which allowed natural bacteria to grow - made them sick!

Also if you ingest (or get into your eyes) bacteria from your external body (arms, legs, skin), then you can become sick. However the presence of this bacteria on your skin will do not harm - your skin protects you!

Basically use the following food sanitation guidelines and you should be fine…
http://www.ct.gov/doag/lib/doag/marketing_files/11._Food_Safety_3-27-2009.pdf

That sounds very surprising to me. I thought a big part of the reason pharmacists get paid the big bucks was to minimize the chances of (potentially very catastrophic) mistakes in that area.

Okay, but as long as I’m not showing any symptoms myself, is it still possible that I could have picked up a dormant disease and transmitted it to patients?

The pharmacists are supposed to verify prescriptions and make sure that the correct meds were dispensed, but they aren’t always the ones who actually fill the prescriptions.

Pharmacists aren’t USUALLY the ones who count the pills! That’s what we have technicians for.

If the OP washes his hands after going to the bathroom, and wipes thoroughly so no stains are left on his boxers, I don’t think he has anything to worry about.