The jury is still out on just how dangerous all that radiation coming from your mobile phone really is, but cellphone radiation isn’t the only danger you should be worried about. Your cellphone is likely harboring more bacteria than you realize. And, it might be your handset’s natural attraction to germs that could do you in during your next hospital stay.
Sounds scary, doesn’t it? It is. A recent study of 200 doctors and nurses working hospital operating rooms and intensive care units found that 95% of their mobile phones were tainted with at least one strain of bacteria. More troubling is the fact that some of those bugs have the potential to actually kill you.
The researchers from the Ondokuz Mayis University in Turkey, led by Fatma Ulger, found that 35% of these hospital workers’ cellphones were contaminated with at least two different types of bacteria, and that 11% of the mobile phones harbored three or more different strains of potentially dangerous bacteria. Worse yet, more than 12% of the cellphones tested positive for the drug-resistant super-bug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
The problem is that cellphones come into contact with hands and mouths, which are favorite hang-outs for more germs than you probably care to think about. We touch door knobs, touch common surfaces, shake hands, use the restroom, the list goes on and on. Is it any wonder researchers are warning hospital patients and staff to be careful how they handle their handsets?
Now, before you break out into a panic, know that MRSA probably won’t hurt you if you’re in good health. We’re exposed to all kinds of nasty drug-resistant bacteria every day, and it’s our healthy immune systems that keep us from getting sick. But, if you happen to be in a weakened state and exposed to the MRSA bug, which happens to love hanging out in hospitals, be wary of any and all mobile phone – you never know which cellphone is carrying drug-resistant bacteria. MRSA is responsible for 60% of all hospital infections, and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reports that MRSA infected 94,000 people and killed 19,000 in the USA in 2005.
Here’s a tip: anti-bacterial hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes will go a long way in killing any potentially fatal bacteria before they get into an open wound.
Image credit: Discover
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