Don't touch the curtains! 

The next time you visit a hospital, remember those four words. They could save you a world of misery. 

Bacteria control is one of the most difficult challenges faced by hospital staffs. That's why hand washing by staff members and visitors is critical. Don't even THINK about leaving a hospital without first washing your hands. 

And while you're there, keep your hands off the curtains. 

University of Iowa researchers took dozens of swab cultures from more than 40 hospital privacy curtains. 

Results: Uh oh... 
* Contamination was found on nearly every curtain at least once during the three-week testing 
* Significant contamination occurred on the "vast majority" of curtains within a week of installation 
* Many curtains were hanging for three weeks and longer
* The MRSA "superbug" contaminated 20% of the curtains
* A high rate of other antibiotic-resistant microbes were also found 

Researchers offer this simple tip for doctors and staff. First, pull the curtain. THEN wash hands. Too often, it happens the other way around.