Are Bad Bugs On Your Phone?
While the investigation predates the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the researchers note the virus that causes the disease is probably present on the mobile phones and other touch-screen devices of people affected. The research team reviewed 56 studies from 24 countries and reported that staph and E. coli bacteria were among the most common microbes found on phones. Lead researcher Lotti Tajouri described mobile devices as “five-star hotels with premium heated spas, free buffet for microbes to thrive on…We talk into them and deposit droplets that can be full of viruses (and) bacteria.” The study showed that phone super users touch their devices up to 5,000 times a day and even the average user handles them an average of three hours a day. The researchers recommended that mobile phones should be decontaminated daily and regularly with either 70 percent isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) or ultraviolet phone sanitizers.
My take? Germs are deposited onto your phone every time you touch it. Experts commenting on an earlier study noted that phones are very likely to pick up bacterial contaminants when they’re carried into the bathroom – the bugs are spread when toilets are flushed. Cleaning your phone periodically can help remove the germs, as can washing your hands.
Lotti Tajouri et al, “Mobile phones represent a pathway for microbial transmission: A scoping review,” Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, April 28, 2020, doi.org/10.1016/j.tmaid.2020.101704
More news from this week’s bulletin:
- Hand Sanitizer Warning
- Women Are Safer Drivers
- Need a tasty spring soup idea? Tomato, Corn, & Basil Soup