A new study has warned that mobile phones could be acting as “Trojan horses” for coronavirus. It found that phones host a cocktail of live germs.
The research was a review of 56 previous studies from 24 countries. While all those studies predate the current pandemic, the authors said SARS-CoV2 is probably present on mobiles and other touch-screen devices of coronavirus sufferers.
The review, scheduled for publication in Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, found that 68% of the phones sampled in these studies were contaminated. Golden staph and E. coli microbes were among the most common bugs on phones.
“Our recommendation is that phones should be decontaminated daily and regularly with either 70% isopropyl or by sanitising with (ultraviolet) devices like PhoneSoap,” said the study, led by biomedical scientist Lotti Tajouri of Bond University, Australia.
In a statement, Dr Tajouri described mobile devices as “five-star hotels with premium heated spas, free buffet for microbes to thrive on”. “They have temperature control, we keep them in our pockets, we are addicted to them. We talk into them and deposit droplets that can be full of viruses, bacteria – you name it. We eat with them, so we give nutrients to micro-organisms..”
He said people travelled with their phones “and no border officers check them”. “That’s why mobile phones are Trojan horses. We don’t know that we are carrying the enemy.”
Dr Tajouri said even the average phone user handled their mobiles an average of three hours a day. “You can wash your hands as many times as you like – and you should – but if you then touch a contaminated phone you are contaminating yourself all over again. Think of your phone as your third hand.”
Source: Bond University