Dirty docs spread deadly germs

Healing hands? More like filthy paws -- because doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers aren't just as dirty as everyone else.

Some of them are dirtier.

They're walking around with disease-causing germs all over their mitts -- and new research finds that a quarter of them have some of the nastiest bugs of all on their hands: diarrhea spores.

Yes, the phrase alone is enough to make you want to wear rubber gloves before you shake your doctor's hand. But this gets worse, because these aren't any old diarrhea spores.

No, they're walking around with hands full of Clostridium difficile, a powerful superbug transmitted through feces that'll cause the worst case of diarrhea you've ever had.

It's so bad you could literally poop to death.

In the new study, the spores were found on the hands of 23 percent of doctors, 19 percent of nurses and 42 percent of nursing assistants.

This study was done on hospitals in Europe, but you can bet the numbers would be just as bad -- maybe worse -- over here, where studies have found that an alarming number of doctors and nurses don't wash their hands enough (or even after using the toilet).

This isn't just disgusting. It's deadly, because C. diff sickens more than 250,000 Americans per year and kills up to 30,000 of them (and in just about the worst way imaginable).

And most of the victims pick up the infection in the hospital ... from dirty doctors, dirty nurses and dirty equipment.

If you happen to be in a hospital or care facility yourself, don't let anyone touch you -- don't even let them near you -- unless they wash up first.

There's a sink in the room, feel free to point them over to it.

And while you're in the joint, you might want to brown bag it -- because C. diff isn't just on hands. It's also in the food. Read this for more... if you can stomach it.