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Doctors Say Cell Phone Hygiene is as Important as Hand Hygiene in Flu Prevention

Do you know where your cell phone has been? Probably in your lint covered pocket, after being handled by fingers that have eaten food and touched many surfaces, and covered in your own spittle after your last call. Hey can I borrow your phone? No.

In a March 2009 study published in the Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials infectious disease and epidemiology specialists warn mobile phones used by health care workers may be sources of hospital acquired bacterial infections. Doctors recommend regular cleaning of cell phones, placing its importance "near hand hygiene".

200 health care workers were screened and samples from their hands mobile phones were cultured.

In total, 94.5% of phones demonstrated evidence of bacterial contamination with different types of bacteria. The gram negative strains were isolated from mobile phones of 31.3% and the ceftazidime resistant strains from the hands were 39.5%. S. aureus strains isolated from mobile phones of 52% and those strains isolated from hands of 37.7% were methicillin resistant.
Distributions of the isolated microorganisms from mobile phones were similar to hands isolates. Some mobile phones were contaminated with nosocomial important pathogens.

These results showed that health care workers' hands and their mobile phones were contaminated with various types of microorganisms. Mobile phones used by health care workers in daily practice may be a source of nosocomial infections in hospitals.
 
 

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