fecal-oral route

Many diseases of humans are passed via what we euphemistically term, the "fecal-oral route." This is a polite way of saying that infection-laden stool from one person found its way into the mouth of another, with the expected consequence of infection.

The fecal-oral route is of course more subtle than that. Fecal material (or the germs present in the feces) can be ingested via contamination of water supplies, by poor handwashing between the bathroom and the kitchen, by eating food contaminated by houseflies, or by poor hygeine after handling baby diapers - a myriad of ways.

In the end, our refuge from the fecal-oral route is handwashing, proper food cleaning and preparation, and public health measures to ensure clean food and water.

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