Need an excuse not to hit the gym this week? How’s this: there’s a contagious skin virus on the rise that is being transmitted in gyms worldwide.
Vile, we know.
New research by Fit Rated says that gym equipment and yoga mats are absolutely riddled with germs and bacteria and that the treadmill has more than 74 times more than taps in a public bathroom. And don’t even think about picking up a free weight – they’ve 362 more germs that a toilet seat.
The research found that 70% of bacteria in a gym is potentially harmful with one virus in particular on the rise.
Molluscum contagiosum is a skin virus that looks like genital warts but is actually a rash of pimples
The wart-like bumps are mainly found in the armpits and around the genitals, and are immune to antibiotics.
Dr. Adam Friedmann is consultant dermatologist at the Harley Street Dermatology Clinic. He says: “It spreads by skin-to-skin contact usually, either sexually or non-sexually, although sharing towels can also cause it to spread. So it can easily spread in gyms via contaminated laundry.”
One 28-year-old woman from west London told Refinery 29: “It started with just one little raised flesh-coloured bump at the top of my thigh, which I just thought was a spot and ignored. When it didn’t clear up I worried it was a genital wart, then after a couple of weeks a couple more bumps came around my vagina, and soon I had several clumps of about five each.”
Within 6-12 months, Molluscum contagiosum typically resolves without scarring but may take as long as four years to clear, and treatment is limited. Basically, it’s harmless enough but can cause infection if you scratch the bumps.
Still determined to work out? G’wan you! Just bring your own towel, avoid rubbing up against strangers (duh) and give anything you touch a good wipe down with antibacterial gel.