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UP study reveals phones are crawling with bacteria


By Gabriela Baron

A study conducted by the University of the Philippines (UP) Microbiology Department has revealed a very dirty truth –  Our phones are one of the filthiest items we own.

UP microbiologist Gil Penuliar said that bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureneus (S. aureus) and Escherica coli (E. coli) are often present on phones.

“Lahat ng hinahawakan natin napupunta sa kamay dahil sa pawis, dahil sa dumi kumakapit ang mikrobyo. So lahat ng pwede nating hawakan, nalilipat dun yung Staphylococcus aureus,” said Penuliar in an interview with 24 Oras.

(The germs that cling to dirt stick to our hands due to sweat. So we transfer to the things we touch bacteria such as Staphylocccus auerus.)

The UP scientist noted that people would often bring their phones with them to the toilet, and this was the reason why the study also found E.coli on the phones.

“Pag hindi maayos ang paghuhugas ng kamay, yung bacteria na nasa kamay natin nalilipat sa phone,” added Penuliar.

(We transfer bacteria from our hands to our phones when we fail to wash our hands properly.)

SouthernPhone reported that an average person checks their mobile phone approximately once every 12 minutes, or 80 time sper day and a typical phone is carrying over 25,000 bacteria per square inch and carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.

S.aureus and E.coli can survive for 24 hours but can also be eliminated with rubbing alcohol.

E.coli is a type of bacteria that can live in the intestines and be transferred via fecal matter. It causes ailments such as food poisoning, diarrhea, or occasionally more serious illness. S.aureus can be harmful or not depending upon the strain, but certain kinds are responsible for minor skin infections. However, Methicilin-resistant s.aureus (MRSA), is a more serious type of staph bacteria that can cause life-threatening infections–pneumonia, surgical site infections, or bloodstream infections.

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