How Your Shower Can Make You Sick

When you turn on the shower, it is not only the tiny droplets of water that spurts out, some infectious agents also rain down and are capable of making you fall sick.

You probably have heard so much about Tuberculosis and how it is caused by a certain type of bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, right?

There’s another group of Nontuberculous mycobacteria called Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC). It consists of two closely related species-M. avium and M.intracellulare which causes tuberculosis-like symptoms in humans.

Some of the symptoms are as follows; 

  • Chronic cough that later produces small amount of sputum, sometimes streaked with blood in old people 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Elevated temperature 
  • Marked Weight loss 
  • Abdominal pain
  • Drenching sweats 
  • Weakness and Fatigue which may last for weeks

The naked truth is that showerheads are viable grounds for the growth of MAC.

Another type of bacterium called Legionella pneumophiliawhich causes Legion fever in humans could also be found in showerheads.By breathing or swallowing contaminated aerosolised water from the shower heads, Legionella pneumophilia enter our body and cause pneumonia and fatal respiratory failure.

Immunocompetent persons have little or nothing to worry about these bacteria but the same can’t be said of patients with weak immune systems. Patients with life threatening diseases like cancer and heart or kidney diseases, aged persons with lung infections, HIV patients and patients with skin infection are at high risk of infection.


  • Avoid contaminated water aerosols. 
  • Regularly clean and disinfect showerheads. White distilled vinegar has been found to be very effective. 
  • Use metal heads for your shower instead of the plastic ones.
  • Run the shower water for some minutes before jumping in, hot water preferably.

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