Infectious Diseases: One Person, One Towel

For a year and a half respectable professors from the Düsseldorf Academy of Medicine sneaked around public washrooms on an odd mission: checking the hand towels in 136 inns and restaurants. They worked with stealth, lest owners get mad at the implied aspersion on their premises. Not until he was unobserved did a researcher pull out of his briefcase a letter-sized sheet of sterile, moistened collecting paper and press it against a towel. Then he folded the paper and slipped it back into his briefcase. Back at the laboratory, the sheets were checked for bacteria. Though the public hand towel...

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