Smartphones could be acting as ‘Trojan horses’ for coronavirus, a new study has warned.
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Covid 19 Time Series
Researchers from Bond University have warned that phones can host a staggering cocktail of live germs, including the coronavirus, and are urging the public to regularly decontaminate their devices.
In the study, the team reviews 56 studies and found that golden staph and E.Coli microbes were among the most common bugs on phones.
Dr Lotti Tajouri, who led the study, described smartphones as ‘five-star hotels with premium heated spas, free buffet for microbes to thrive on’.
He added: “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.
“And nobody - absolutely nobody - washes or decontaminates their phone.”
Dr Tajouri added that some smartphone users touch their devices up to 5,000 times a day.
Phone as your third hand
He said: “We know from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that 80 per cent of all infections are associated with our hands.
“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.”
The researchers suggest that smartphones might be to blame for the rapid spread of coronavirus in close communities.
Dr Tajouri said: “The extraordinarily fast contagion that has scientists puzzled might reside within these mobile phones spreading COVID-19 everywhere at ultra-speed.
“After all, they’re everywhere, travelling the world in planes, cruise ships and trains.
“Let’s take that hypothesis seriously. If we clean our phones daily and this makes a difference then we might with this little action curve down the COVID-19 epidemic and save lives.”