There are some things it is better just not to think about. Like the 10,000 bacteria you inhale with each breath in the average office building. Or the 10 million bacteria in each glass of tap water. Microbiologists have now added something else to the list of things too gross to contemplate: the deluge of bacteria that hit your face and flow deep into your lungs in the morning shower.
Showers in New York carry a particularly high dose of a microbe related to tuberculosis called Mycobacterium avium. The bacterium and its close cousins can cause a variety of exotic chest complaints, including lifeguard's lung, hot tub lung and Lady Windermere's syndrome.