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Stethoscopes do as much dirty work as hands in spreading germs

NPR, February 28, 2014
A trip to the doctor's office may help you feel better, but it can also send you right back to bed if you're unlucky enough to pick up someone else's germs during your visit. And researchers say you might be getting those germs from the doctor's stethoscope. Think of stethoscopes as an extension of the doctor's hands, which are the main source of patient-to-patient bacterial transmission, says Didier Pettet , the director of infection control at University of Geneva Hospital in Switzerland and the study's lead author. The Center for Disease Control estimates that on any given day, one in every 20 patients has an infection after receiving medical care.