It’s official: Public restrooms are among the biggest bacteria bombs you can find anywhere!

That’s according to a new study from the Infectious Diseases Society of America. They sent researchers to busy restrooms across the country - in restaurants, hospitals, stores, and even inside airplanes. Then, they swabbed common restroom surfaces like faucets, paper towel dispensers, and door handles.

The result? Nearly every restroom was heavily contaminated with germs that can make you sick. For example: The most common germs found were staphylococcus – which can cause fevers, and bacillus – which can cause diarrhea.

And get this: Most restrooms had so many germs, the numbers were too high to count! That’s the word from Dr. Lennox Archibald, an epidemiologist at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine. He says he’s not surprised by these results, because when it comes to basic bathroom hygiene, research shows that we have a long history of not washing our hands! And it should go without saying that once you touch a contaminated bathroom doorknob, for example, you’ll be spreading germs to everything else you touch.

The takeaway? Dr. Archibald says if you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go.  But if you can, you’re better off holding it until you get home. And no matter where you go, wash your hands thoroughly.