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15 July 2019 It'll save your life' - Doctor reveals why he runs shower for 20 minutes after holiday

posted 15 Jul 2019, 08:01 by Ian Clarenbone   [ updated 23 Jul 2019, 05:39 ]

Dr Tom Makin runs his shower for 20 minutes when he gets home to protect himself from deadly bacteria

Could this life hack save your life? 

What is the first thing you do when you get home after being on holiday? Put the kettle on? Put your feet up? Take a shower...

A microbiologist has recently shared his ritual when he returns home from being away and it might change your routine forever. Dr Tom Makin immediately runs his shower for 20 minutes without getting into it and, after it's turned off he doesn't go back in the bathroom for another 20 minutes. The process, he said is a measure to prevent the lethal bacteria causing life-threatening conditions. In the time a person is away on holiday, stagnant water in your shower head can turn toxic, he claims. This means people are at greater risk of inhaling bacteria called legionella.

Explaining in detail what he does when back from a break, he said: "I cover my nose and mouth with one hand and turn on the shower with the other. After 20 minutes or so, I’ll turn the shower off and then I won’t go back into the bathroom for at least another 20 minutes."

Going away in the Summer increases the risk posed by Legionella, as the bacteria thrives when the temperature is between 20C and 45C. Garden hoses and sprinkler systems are also risky.

The World Health Organisation says Legionella is on the rise, possibly because people are taking showers rather than baths. Legionella can cause pneumonia and organ failure, both of which can be fatal. An estimated 500 Brits contract Legionnaires' disease each year.

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