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Smart-Phones and Germs

Smartphones and Germs
Smartphones and Germs

Most people don’t give a second thought to using their smartphones everywhere, from their morning commute to the dinner table to their office. But research shows that smartphones are very much dirtier than most people think of, and the more germs they collect, the more germs you touch. In fact, your own hand is considered to be the biggest culprit when it comes to putting dirt on your phone.

Americans check their phones about 47 times per day, and so are Indians. According to a survey by Deloitte, too frequent use of phones affords plenty of opportunities for microorganisms to move from your fingers to your phone. Fun fact: each square inch of your cell phone contains roughly 25,000-27,000 germs, making it one of the filthiest things you come in contact with, on a daily basis.



 Research Shows:


1). Scientists at the National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS) in Pune have discovered three species of microbes- two bacteria and fungus- that grow on mobile phone screens, PTI reported.  For the research, the team collected samples of 27 screens from their mobile phone. 

The result shocked everyone, They found 515 different bacterial types and 28 different fungi, including the three new species on the screen of the mobile phones. One of the renowned scientists on the team said that these bacteria and fungi flourish on human bodies. But he points out that they are not harmful to humans. Experiments performed earlier have found that smartphone and tablet screens carry more germs compared to a toilet seat. 


2). It follows that most of the organisms found on phones are not basically pathogens that will make you sick, A scientist claims. He also stated that Staphylococcus might be present, in a very minute amount, but it’s not typically the kind that will give you a staph infection. 

But some bacteria should concern you. “We’re certainly not walking through a germ-free environment, so if you touch a surface there could be something on that”, says the director of clinical microbiology at New York-Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center. “There are lots of environmental contaminants present on your phone.”


3). Studies have found serious pathogens on cell phones, including Streptococcus, MRSA, and even E. coli. Just having these microbes on your phone won’t automatically make you sick,  but you still don’t want to let them enter your body. Viruses can also spread on phones through the air if one person is sick with strep throat or influenza and coughs on their cell phone before handing it off to a friend.


What Type Of Germs Are Present On Our Phones?


Generally, the germs(bacteria or virus) present on our phones are not much hazardous for our life or make us sick that easily, but there's still 10% chance that they might affect our body. The germs present on our phones are even worst than germs present on our toilet seats. 

Recent researches by renowned scientist proved the existence of harmful bacteria and viruses on our cell phones in a very minute quantity, but still, they can be dangerous for our life. Some of the most infectious germs that might be present on our cell phones are:

1). Streptococcus:

Strep also is known as Streptococcus, is a type of bacteria. There are two types of Streptococcus: Group A and Group B:

Group A strep causes:

Strep throat - a sore, red throat. Your tonsils may swell and have whitish spots on them.

1.Scarlet fever - an illness that follows strep throat. It causes a red rash on the body.

2.Impetigo - a skin infection

3.Toxic shock syndrome

4.Cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease)

Group B Strep cause: 

Blood infections, pneumonia, and meningitis in newborn babies. A screening test performed during pregnancy can tell if you have it or not. If you do, than  I.V. antibiotics(Intravenous) taken during labor can save your baby's life. 

Adults can also get group B strep infections, especially if they are elderly or already have some sort of health problems. Strep B can cause infections in adults like.. urinary tract infections, blood infections, skin infections, and pneumonia.

2). MRSA:  

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) is a  type of bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. It's much tougher to treat than most strains of Staphylococcus aureus -- or staph-- because it's resistant to some of the commonly used antibiotics. The symptoms of MRSA depend on the part of the body you're infected. 

Most in the cases, it causes mild infections on the skin, like sores or boils. But it has the capability to cause more serious skin infections or infect surgical wounds, the bloodstream, the lungs, or the urinary tract.

3). E. coli :

Escherichia coli (E. coli) are bacteria commonly found in the environment, foods, and intestines of human beings and animals. E. coli are a diverse group of bacteria. Although most of the types of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick. 

Some kinds of E. coli causes diarrhea, while other types of E.coli causes urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, and other diseases as well.


Note: These life-threatening germs could be present on our phone in a very minute quantity, so there's very less chance of people getting affected by these germs using their phone. so don't stop using a phone but use it wisely.


What could we do to prevent getting in touch with these of these germs?


The Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) Professionals reports, “The kinds of illnesses you could get from germs present on a phone are the types you get from touching surfaces and then touching your eyes, nose, and mouth: colds, flu, and gastrointestinal and stomach illnesses. Germs could be on your phone or keypad, and then you touch your mouth or other body parts.


1. Say 'no' to bathroom texting: the way to a germ-free phone begins with not taking it into the bathroom…ever. It seems simple enough, but approximately 75 percent of people worldwide are on their phone while using the facilities. And whether you wash your hands or not, germs still find a way to latch on. The less your device is exposed to these areas, the better would be the result.


2. Use a microfiber: Some phones come with a microfiber cloth. And If not, you can use the one that came with your spectacles or sunglasses or picks up one from any drug store. The cloth will remove fingerprints, oils and any other smudges from your screen without scratching the delicate surface of your screen, like a paper towel. Wipe your phone down vigorously every day to have a better future.


3. Disinfect with alcohol and water. The microfiber cloth will make your phone shine but it won’t disinfect your phone should someone sneeze all over it. To do that, you'll need some additional supplies. You can purchase wipes from medical stores that will disinfect your phone or you can make your own. In an interview with the New York Times, the Best Buy’s Geek Squad technician explained his mixture, which includes distilled water and isopropyl alcohol. Simply fill a spray bottle with the prescribed mixture then spray it on a microfiber cloth. Clean your device and use a foam swab for the tight areas.


4. Wash your hands: and keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Keeping your hands clean is the best way to prevent the spread of infection over your body. 


5. Clean your hands: after touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. After using the restroom, before and after eating or drinking, or whenever your hands are dirty, wash it properly to prevent the spread of germs.


6. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Coughing or sneezing can spread these germs through microscopic droplets in the air. Cover your mouth with your arm, sleeve, or use a handkerchief, rather than using your hands.


7. Do not place your phone on germy surfaces (e.g. bus seat, bathroom floor).
Germs from these locations can allocate on your phone. And just Remember, that your phone touches your face!


8. Using a case for your phone: It is a great way to protect your smartphone but it may be carrying germs as well. To add an extra layer of bacteria protection, use an antimicrobial cover, which can help eliminate bacteria from the cover itself. 
Smart-Phones and Germs Smart-Phones and Germs Reviewed by Piyush Narayan on August 24, 2018 Rating: 5

7 comments:

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