The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

Germs with Cell Phones: Not the Worst Thing in the World?

Germs with Cell Phones: Not the Worst Thing in the World?

The phone you use everyday is known to carry a load of germs. If you don’t think so, when was the last time you washed your phone with a disinfectant wipe?

 

You may have the argument that you wash your hands, but before your hands were washed, they were covered in germs you gathered throughout the day. If you are a college student, chances are that six to eight hours of that day you were on the phone. Hands cleaned or not, that phone contains all of the germs you picked up throughout the day. Question is, is it that harmful?

 

People as a whole are collectively bad at keeping our phones cleaned. A survey done by Sharon Kirby, RN, MSN and Christine Briggs, SM, with 18 people. 10 of the participants were staff members of the neonatal intensive care unit or NICU, and eight were family members.

 

Of the 18 surveyed, nine rarely cleaned their phone, four cleaned weekly, two cleaned daily, two never cleaned their phone, and one cleans monthly.

 

Of the three students asked on campus, two students clean their phones roughly every three months, where one student says he hasn’t thought about it in a while.

 

“I haven’t cleaned my phone since it was cool to do so back in 2021,” Nicholas Daniels said.

 

In a study done by Tahereh Ghaffari, Head of Department at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, she concluded that out of the 160 subjects tested, ( 32 professors, 64 medical staff, and 64 students)

 

“The number of germs in the students’ hands were significantly higher than that of the professors and medical staff,” Ghaffari said.

 

The amount of germs found on the hands of participants who washed their hands were significantly lower than those who didn’t wash their hands.

 

This isn’t a major threat to society whatsoever, but it does affect some portions of our population. It is only a concern of ones who have a weak immune system. Infants and elderly people are more susceptible to getting sick than an average adult. These infections are mostly likely to occur in health care settings, due to poor aseptic practices.

 

Although we aren’t majorly affected by the germs on our phones, we still pass germs to others. If we learned anything in the past four years, it is better for everyone to wash your hands, use sanitizer when using public amenities, and especially wipe down your areas with disinfectant wipes. You are not only protecting yourself, but others around you. The low chance you catch a sickness from touching things could be a high chance for someone with a weak immune system.

 

Building throughout the Georgia Southern campus, you can find hand sanitizing stations and disinfectant wipes desks. The Henderson library keeps them abundant around the tables. Also something to ponder, “For instance, bacteria that cause ‘staph infections’ (Staphylococcus aureus) have been frequently detected on phones in scientific studies,” Microbiologist Dr. Jennifer Brofft said.

 

In an effort to help you and your neighbor, try to keep clean. Asking someone to clean their phone everyday is unrealistic, but it helps fight against an (almost) invisible enemy. People have gotten sick from germ transfers, but unless you consider COVID, no one has died from it.

 

“So, in a worst case scenario, cell phones can contribute to increased incidence of nosocomial infections in health care settings,” Dr. Brofft said.

References:
Hamedirad, Fahimeh & Ghaffari, Tahereh & Abdolrahimi, Esmail. (2018). Which One is the Most Polluted? Students, Professors, or Medical Staff’s Cell Phones. 124-129.

Kirkby, Sharon MSN, RN, RNC-NIC; Biggs, Christine M(ASCP)SM. Cell Phones in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: How to Eliminate Unwanted Germs. Advances in Neonatal Care 16(6):p 404-409, December 2016. | DOI: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000328

 

 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Blake Williams, Co-Editor in Chief, The George-Anne

Comments (0)

All The George-Anne Media Group Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *