Long story short, when visiting neighbors the other day, a young child playing outside in the lawn stepped in some fresh animal fecal matter, and not knowing what it was, ended up taking off their shoe and put it within about 2 inches from their face to sniff it. The mother panicked, and after two calls to both poison control and the pediatrician, was told by both that as long as the child hadn’t swallowed any of the fecal matter, there was no need to worry about anything.
This made me curious. By putting something as pathogen-laden as animal fecal matter (or vomit, etc) that close to your face smelling it, wouldn’t you essentially be inhaling all kinds of bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc, assuming they were present? Or is the vacuum created by smelling something at that distance not strong enough to do this?