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Newcastle men dodge post-bog handwash

Researchers sniff out UK's dirtiest mitts

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Researchers probing the delicate matter of just how many of us do the right thing and wash our hands after a trip to the bog have described themselves as "flabbergasted" at just how many Brits have "faecal bugs" on their post-lav mitts.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine took samples from 409 commuters waiting for buses outside five UK train stations. While just 13 per cent of those at London Euston were shamed with dirty hands, a whopping 44 per cent at Newcastle were guilty of "go-and-not-wash-and-go".

London chaps proved the least water-shy, with a mere six per cent testing positive while a worrying 53 per cent of Geordies tested were caught brown-handed.

According to the Telegraph, results from the other stations underlined the north-south hygiene divide. Cardiff commuters weighed in with a moderately respectable 23 per cent of unwashed masses, compared to 24 per cent for Birmingham and 34 per cent for Liverpool. The overall UK average for "dirt associated with using the lavatory" was 28 per cent, with women and men equally represented.

A horrified Dr Val Curtis, director of The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's Hygiene Centre, said: "We were flabbergasted by the finding that so many people had faecal bugs on their hands. The figures were far higher than we had anticipated, and suggest that there is a real problem with people washing their hands in the UK."

The hospital's advice is simple: Wash you hands or risk spreading plague, pestilence and diarrhoeal disease. ®

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