Most people know that toilets, doorknobs and money harbor bacteria and viruses. However, studies show that cell phones contain as many as 7,000 types of bacteria and 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Although most of these germs are likely not potent enough to cause a serious illness that sends you to a Sugar Land emergency clinic, some make you sick if they enter your system.
Types of Germs on Cell Phones
Each person’s skin, mouth, nose and intestines are home to millions of good bacteria, fungi and viruses. These microbes protect us from illnesses, help digest food and affect the way the body metabolizes drugs. However, we also come into contact with bacteria and viruses that cause illness.
Several studies show that cell phones and tablets harbor infectious bacteria, including Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, E. coli, Enterococcus faecalis and MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant pathogen. E. coli and Enterococcus faecalis bacteria are from fecal material and cause fever, diarrhea and nausea. For people with weakened immune systems, infection with these bacteria can be fatal.
Germs from colds, flu and other contagious ailments remain on your phone for several hours or days and can be transferred from the phone to your mouth or nose. A serious infection could lead to a visit to a Sugar Land emergency clinic.
How Germs Are Transmitted to a Cell Phone
Think about the places you take your cell phone. Do you take your phone into the bathroom? People place their phones on the bathroom floor, the toilet paper holder or a shelf above the toilet. When you flush, thousands of bacteria are released into the air. Many land on your phone.
If you don’t wash your hands well after leaving the restroom, you transfer germs from your hands to surfaces. If you place your cell phone on the dining table or use it during a meal, germs are transferred.
How to Avoid Contamination
There are ways to avoid a Sugar Land emergency. Washing your hands frequently reduces the amount of germs you carry and lowers the risk of contamination. Experts advise wiping your phone frequently with a clean, damp microfiber cloth and disinfectant wipes. At least once a week, clean your phone with a mixture of alcohol and water.
St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms handles all types of emergency health issues, from infections to strokes. Unlike a hospital emergency room where patients often wait hours before being seen, our Sugar Land emergency clinic staff sees patients within minutes of arrival. Our 24-hour facilities are staffed by certified doctors who evaluate your medical situation and determine whether additional care is needed. If hospital admission is required, we help find a hospital that is suited to treat your condition.
To preregister with St. Michael’s or find out more about our Sugar Land emergency care services, call 281-980-4357 today!