Toilet anxiety: Panic about pooping in public

Debbie Schipp of news.om.au reports that a condition which makes people too petrified to poo in public means some Australians avoid going out because they fear not only using public toilets, but are also scared they won’t make it in time.

toilet.anxietyAt its most extreme, toilet anxiety, shy bladder and shy bowel syndromes can be so crippling that sufferers stay home rather than risk peeing or pooing in public toilets.

And the fear people might hear you doing a number two is worse than that of doing a number one (pee) researchers from Swineburne University found when they developed a scale aimed at assessing the anxiety people commonly experience when needing to use a public rest room.

Dr Simon Knowles is one of the study’s authors, and a clinical psychologist who specialises in gastrointestinal conditions and working with people with severe anxiety about using public toilets. His said both Paruresis (anxiety associated with urinating in public: shy bladder) and Parcopresis (anxiety related to having a bowel motion: shy bowel) can be so extreme people can struggle to socialise, study or even hold down a job because they only feel comfortable using their own toilet.

The study involving 334 adults reveals that shy bladder and shy bowel symptoms were both associated with increased stress, anxiety and depression.

“Those who experience toilet anxiety frequently worry about using a public toilet due to fears that others may hear or see them,” Dr Knowles said.

“Although the prevalence of toilet anxiety is not clear, it is suggested to be around six per cent to 35 per cent of the population may be affected to some degree.”

Dr Knowles developed his scale of toilet anxiety measure in an effort to better understand the causes of the condition, and tested it on the 300-plus people involved in the study.

Basically, the ‘how scared are you to poo scale’ will help experts to better judge whether general self consciousness has spiralled into full blown social anxiety. If it’s the latter, Dr Knowles says, you’re far from alone, and it’s treatable.

The results of the research were recently printed in the Journal of Cognitive Behaviour and more information and the survey are available at toiletanxiety.org

Serial pooper plagues Virginia park

Kids love climbing and playing at Fort Barnard Park in south Arlington, VA, but now they have to watch where they step.

fort.barnard.park.vaSome parents are disgusted after learning a “serial pooper” is targeting the playground.

“I have three kids, one is a cancer survivor. You run into something like that?” Andy Delafield, who takes his kids to Fort Barnard Park, said. “Oh my God. Just … ugh. Who would be sick enough to do something like that?”

Arlington County Parks and recreation officials say human poop has been found about four or five times in the last few months.

Whoever is responsible is covering the poop with a shirt or jacket.

Park workers believe it happens after hours in the dark. Each time it is reported, workers clean it up and disinfect the area.

Poop in the pool: Crypto outbreaks grow to 32 in Arizona, 100 in Ohio

Maricopa County’s cryptosporidium outbreak grew to 32 confirmed cases as of Wednesday afternoon.

caddyshack.pool.poop-1Health officials say at least four public swimming pools have been linked to infected people. Officials, who would not confirm the locations, said all the operators are complying with protocols to super-chlorinate water to kill any crypto that may exist.

Last week a mother told ABC15 said her teen daughter got sick after visiting Wet ‘N’ Wild in the north Valley.

Wet ‘N’ Wild tells ABC15 the they are in compliance with CDC and county health standards. A spokeswoman also says the pools are being super-chlorinated weekly as a precaution, and signs inform customers of healthy swimming practices. Those include showering before entering the water and not swimming after bouts of diarrhea.

Columbus Public Health along with other central Ohio agencies have declared a community outbreak of cryptosporidiosis after more than 100 cases have been reported in the area.

There has been a recent rise over the normal threshold of cases across several jurisdictions in central Ohio, including Columbus, Franklin County and Delaware County, according to Columbus Public Health.

The three jurisdictions have reported more than 107 cases so far this year, which is more than the last three years combined. This outbreak is not tied to any one location. A spokesperson with Columbus Public Health says there have been 62 cases in Columbus, 34 in Franklin County and 11 in Delaware County.

A large portion of the cases include people with multiple exposures at various recreational water facilities throughout the three jurisdictions.

Can’t we just enjoy food? Poop dessert café to open in Toronto

Torstar News Service reports Toronto is joining the (bowel) movement: a poop-themed café is coming to Koreatown.

Poop Café Dessert BarPoop Café Dessert Bar, which will be located at 706 Bloor St. W., is set to open mid-August.

“I’m trying to make poop cute,” said owner Lien Nguyen, who first came across the concept while visiting her mother in Taiwan a couple years ago.

“We checked out a toilet-themed restaurant and I just loved it. It’s funny to put food and poop together; it’s a great comparison,” she added. “It stayed in my mind for a long time. As soon as I finished school, I said, ‘OK, I’m going to bring the restaurant to Toronto.’”

The recent George Brown College graduate earned her credentials in culinary management. She plans to focus her menu around traditional Asian desserts like patbingsoo (red beans with ice) and is hoping that, through this enterprise, “people will change their minds about poo.”

“[It’s] considered very disgusting, [something] you can’t talk about when you’re eating,” she said … until now.

All of the poo-ticular items available at the café will be brown, formed like a stool and served in toilet-shaped dishes, said Nguyen, who plans to seasonally change up the menu to reflect customer feedback.

While the “latest lavatorial trend” might be new to Toronto, restaurants around the world have already embraced the bowl.

Don’t eat poop and if you do, cook it: Julianne Hough eats elephant poop

Julianne Hough recently joined Bear Grylls on his survival show “Running Wild with Bear Grylls.” The actress/dancer reveals that she ate elephant dung and caterpillars during the filming of the reality adventure series.

julianne-hough-eats-elephant-poop-on-running-wild-with-bear-grylls“It was the start of our journey in Southern Africa….You can drink that and it will rehydrate you,” Grylls explains during an interview with Access Hollywood. Hough further details how disgusting it was, “Right off the bat he’s like, here, let’s do this! It’s just like coming through my fingers and down my arm. And he just decides to put it on my face.”

The former “Dancing with the Stars” pro-dancer and judge confirms that she did eat the elephant poop after boiling it with some caterpillars. Asked what it tasted like, she says it was “awful,” before making a vomit face. Grylls praises her for being “one tough chic” though.

Someone in VIP on Gronk’s party ship left pile of poop with $20 bill

This, somehow, counts as sports news.

Jake Brown of CBS Sport Radio reports: we have heard some stories of Rob Gronkowski’s party ship over the last couple of months. From all accounts, it seems like the ship was one hell of a time if you like to party.

US football player Rob Gronkowski poses as he arrives to the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. / AFP / ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ        (Photo credit should read ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

US football player Rob Gronkowski poses as he arrives to the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. / AFP / ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ (Photo credit should read ADRIAN SANCHEZ-GONZALEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

G Unit’s DJ Whoo Kid, who is a host on SiriusXM’s Shade 45 joined Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson and I on the Brown and Scoop podcast on CBS Radio’s Play.it to give us a unique story from the party ship.

“We damn near messed up that boat so bad that we can never do a party on that cruise ship again. They banned us,” said Whoo Kid. “Somebody shatted and put a 20 dollar bill on the (expletive). They’re trying to go through all the cameras and try to figure out who (expletive) and put this $20 on there. On the VIP section by the pool.”

The question is who in VIP may have committed the…crime.

 

Don’t eat poop: Building birds to poop on children is never a good idea

Rich McCormick of  The Verge writes that children are particularly susceptible to sunburn, but unlike adults, they don’t understand the importance of wearing sunscreen.

dont.eat.poopThat’s the core problem at the heart of this Nivea ad, but the agency in charge went off in a very weird direction.

Rather than propose a workable solution — like rewarding kids for applying the goop all over, or describing the benefits in easy to understand terms — the agency instead decided to design and build a sunscreen-shitting seagull, before using it to fly across a beach and pepper a gang of kids in sticky white “poop.”

The resulting video has got everything a good ad campaign shouldn’t: older men spying on children from sand dunes, close-ups of the act of shitting on said children, and children who inexplicably respond to being shit on by giggling and rubbing it into their skin.

On that last topic, I’ve got to assume that the kids here were briefed for a long time about the nature of the giant bird toy and why the adults wanted to see them covered in its droppings. Even at the age of the kids in the video, my reaction to the potential of bird poop landing on my body would have been more “eww, gross,” than “life-giving manna from heaven! I must smear it against my body before it disappears!”

It’s not the kids’ fault, though. “Don’t show children rubbing pretend bird feces into their skin” is the kind of rule you’d think you wouldn’t have to teach at advertising school, but here we are in 2016, with an oversized seagull puppet, a complicated sunscreen ejection system, and scores of sticky children. Less surprisingly, Nivea didn’t decide to run with the agency’s spot as part of its own advertising campaign, with the video’s creators telling Ad Week that the “Care From the Air” campaign wouldn’t be promoted.

Microbiology of cattle poop

Cattle are a natural reservoir of Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and have recently been recognized as a major source of Campylobacter jejuni contamination. While several factors are known to be associated with bacterial colonization, the underlying microbial factors have not been clarified.

dodd.poopIn this study, we characterized the fecal microbiota of dairy cattle (n = 24) using next-generation sequencing to elucidate the intestinal bacterial communities and the microbial diversity in relation to the presence of the foodborne pathogens STEC and C. jejuni (STEC-positive samples, n = 9; STEC-negative samples, n = 15; C. jejuni-positive samples, n = 9; and C. jejuni-negative samples, n = 15). While no significant differences were observed in alpha diversity between STEC-positive and STEC-negative samples, a high diversity index was observed in C. jejuni-positive samples compared to C. jejuni-negative samples. Nine phyla, 13 classes, 18 orders, 47 families, 148 genera, and 261 species were found to be the core microbiota in dairy cattle, covering 80.0–100.0% of the fecal microbial community. Diverse microbial communities were observed between cattle shedding foodborne pathogens and nonshedding cattle. C. jejuni-positive cattle had a higher relative abundance of Bacteroidetes (p = 0.035) and a lower relative abundance of Firmicutes (p = 0.035) compared to C. jejuni-negative cattle. In addition, while the relative abundance of 2 and 6 genera was significantly higher in cattle-shedding STEC and C. jejuni, respectively, the relative abundance of 3 genera was lower in both STEC- and C. jejuni-negative cattle.

Our findings provide fundamental information on the bacterial ecology in cattle feces and might be useful in developing strategies to reduce STEC or C. jejuni shedding in dairy cattle, thereby reducing the incidence of STEC infection and campylobacteriosis in humans.

The fecal microbial communities of dairy cattle shedding Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli or Campylobacter jejuni

Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. July 2016, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/fpd.2016.2121.

Dong Hee-Jin, Kim Woohyun, An Jae-Uk, Kim Junhyung, and Cho Seongbeom

http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/fpd.2016.2121

Kangeroo poo suspect: Q fever rises in Australia

The [Illawarra] region’s public health director has moved to allay community concerns after several cases of confirmed Q fever.

kangaroo-pic-dm-530558559Curtis Gregory said 7 cases of the potentially debilitating disease had been confirmed within the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District so far this year [2016].

Statewide the number of cases has doubled in 5 years, from 130 in 2012, to 260 in 2015. In the 1st 6 months of 2016, NSW [New South Wales] Health has been notified of 88 cases.

“Q fever is a bacterial infection normally spread to humans by infected animals,” Mr Gregory said. “It’s mainly seen around agricultural and livestock industries and occupations but can be found in wildlife populations.” Mr Gregory said while case numbers were relatively low in the region, there had been some community concern over perceived hotspots. “We have seen numbers group around certain areas in the Shoalhaven like Sanctuary Point, although there have been some cases in the southern Illawarra,” he said. “We have done environmental sampling at different locations – of kangaroo and bandicoot droppings — but no positive results have been found.” Humans usually get infected by inhaling bacteria-carrying dust contaminated by animal urine, feces or birth products. “Those at higher risk of infection include abattoir and meat workers; farmers and shearers; stockyard workers and animal transporters; veterinarians and agriculture college staff and students,” Mr Gregory said. “Horticulturists or gardeners may also be concerned if there’s a lot of wildlife in the area, as activities like lawn mowing may put them at risk.”

Possums, birds and tank water in Queensland: A microbial risk

As Australians begin the workweek with a hung parliament after yet another federal election, I aptly turn my attention to the politicians of the rodent world: possums.

rainwater.brisbane.feb.14The Australian climate can be harsh, in a No-Country-for-Old-Men sorta way, with temperature extremes, flooding, followed by five years of drought.

So we have new-fangled rain barrels that my grandparents used to have in Ontario (ours, right, exactly as shown and I know there’s possums wandering around there at night because possum poop accumulates).

The rainwater is supposed to be used for toilets, dishes, laundry and other non-potable uses, but is there a risk (no drinking from the garden hose here)?

Here’s the most recent from researchers:

Avian and possum fecal droppings may negatively impact roof-harvested rainwater (RHRW) water quality due to the presence of zoonotic pathogens. This study was aimed at evaluating the performance characteristics of a possum feces-associated (PSM) marker by screening 210 fecal and wastewater samples from possums (n = 20) and a range of nonpossum hosts (n = 190) in Southeast Queensland, Australia.

The host sensitivity and specificity of the PSM marker were 0.90 and 0.95 (maximum value, 1.00), respectively. The mean concentrations of the GFD marker in possum fecal DNA samples (8.8 × 107 gene copies per g of feces) were two orders of magnitude higher than those in the nonpossum fecal DNA samples (5.0 × 105 gene copies per g of feces). The host sensitivity, specificity, and concentrations of the avian feces-associated GFD marker were reported in our recent study (W. Ahmed, V. J. Harwood, K. Nguyen, S. Young, K. Hamilton, and S. Toze, Water Res 88:613–622, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2015.10.050). The utility of the GFD and PSM markers was evaluated by testing a large number of tank water samples (n = 134) from the Brisbane and Currumbin areas. GFD and PSM markers were detected in 39 of 134 (29%) and 11 of 134 (8%) tank water samples, respectively. The GFD marker concentrations in PCR-positive samples ranged from 3.7 × 102 to 8.5 × 105 gene copies per liter, whereas the concentrations of the PSM marker ranged from 2.0 × 103 to 6.8 × 103 gene copies per liter of water. The results of this study suggest the presence of fecal contamination in tank water samples from avian and possum hosts.

possum.baby.nov.11This study has established an association between the degradation of microbial tank water quality and avian and possum feces. Based on the results, we recommend disinfection of tank water, especially for tanks designated for potable use.

Importance 

The use of roof-harvested rainwater (RHRW) for domestic purposes is a globally accepted practice. The presence of pathogens in rainwater tanks has been reported by several studies, supporting the necessity for the management of potential health risks. The sources of fecal pollution in rainwater tanks are unknown. However, the application of microbial source tracking (MST) markers has the potential to identify the sources of fecal contamination in a rainwater tank. In this study, we provide evidence of avian and possum fecal contamination in tank water samples using molecular markers. This study established a potential link between the degradation of the microbial quality of tank water and avian and possum feces.

Evidence of avian and possum fecal contamination in rainwater tanks as determined by microbial source tracking approaches

Ahmed a, K. A. Hamilton a,b, P. Gyawali a,c, S. Toze a,c and C. N. Haas b

A CSIRO Land and Water, Ecosciences Precinct, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

B Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

C School of Public Health, University of Queensland, Herston, Queensland, Australia

Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Volume 82, Number 14, Pages 4379-4386, doi:10.1128/AEM.00892-16

http://aem.asm.org/content/82/14/4379.abstract?etoc