Mysophobia (germophobia, bacteriophobia, microbophobia) is fear of dirt, germs, microbes or other contaminant.

Mysos is Greek for filth.


Features of mysophobia:

(1) The person is afraid of bacteria, vermin, dirt, mud or anything viewed as "dirty".

(2) The fear is pathological (interferes with living).

(3) It may be associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).


Behavioral responses:

(1) excessive and repeated handwashing

(2) excessive use of hand sanitizers

(3) avoidance of "unclean" surfaces

(4) extensive attempts at cleaning and decontaminating environmental surfaces

(5) avoidance of locations that might contaim a high presence of germs

(6) fear of physical contact with strangers or animals

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