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Dangerous Bacteria Found on Patients' Cell Phones

Cell phones used by patients and their visitors were twice as likely to contain potentially dangerous bacteria as those of healthcare workers (HCWs), according to a study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

A team of researchers from the Department of Medical Microbiology at Inonu University in Malatya, Turkey collected swab samples from three parts of cell phones—the keypad, microphone and ear piece. A total of 200 mobile phones (MPs) were cultured for the study, 67 of which belonged to medical employees and 133 to patients, patients’ companions and visitors. The researchers found that 39.6 percent of the patient group phones and 20.6 percent of HCW phones tested positive for pathogens. Additionally, seven patient phones contained multidrug resistant (MDR) pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and multiply resistant gram-negative organisms, while no HCW phones tested positive for MDR pathogens.
 
 

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