For many of us, our phones are our lives, always within reach, even in the bathroom. To find out how germy the devices can get, members of a microbiology class at Washburn University swabbed their phones and incubated the samples for a few days.They ended up with colonies of bacteria, some toxic.
Other tests on phones have turned up everything from fecal matter to antibiotic resistant bacteria. For most of us, the biggest danger is picking up a skin infection, acne, a cold or the flu, but the risk can be more serious for people with weakened immune systems.
“Have there been big outbreaks from cell phones? We don’t know but the potential is definitely there,” says Dr. Jo-Ann Harris, Infectious Disease Specialist.
Dr. Harris suggests that phones get a daily cleaning. She says toilet seats have less bacteria than your phone because toilet seats are routinely cleaned. And she says germs go from your hands to your phone, so if you wash your hands, but not your phone, the phone transfers them back to your hand.