Calling All Germs

Cellphones Are Great for Sharing Photos—and Bacteria; Cleaning May Harm Screens

germsonphoneWhen you combine a cellphone’s proximity to your ears, nose and mouth with its bacteria-loving warmth, the result can be harmful to your health. This hazard, says Jeffrey Cain, the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians and chief of family medicine at Children’s Hospital Colorado, often goes unnoticed. “Some things we think are personal are actually more public than we imagine.” Bacteria from a phone can cause flu, pinkeye or diarrhea, says Dr. Cain.

For people who want to keep a clean touch screen, there is a disconnect between what doctors and medical researchers advise and what device makers suggest for phone sanitizing.

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