Mobile phones are 'hotbeds' of viruses

By AuntMinnieEurope.com staff writers

June 22, 2016 -- Mobile phones used by hospital staff are 'hotbeds' of pathogenic viruses, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University Hospital of Saint-étienne in France and published in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection.

Lead author Sylvie Pillet, PhD, and colleagues swabbed mobile and hospital cordless phones used daily by 114 healthcare workers, then analyzed the samples for viral material including influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, human metapneumovirus, rotavirus, and norovirus.

Viruses were found on almost 40% of the devices, with rotavirus being the most common, Pillet's group wrote. The researchers also found that 20% of healthcare workers admitted they did not regularly clean their hands or the devices, even though they knew the phones could harbor pathogens. Finally, the group discovered that cordless hospital phones were cleaned and disinfected less frequently in pediatric departments as compared with adult wards (Clin Microbiol Infect., May 2016, Volume 22:5, pp. 456.e1-456.e6).

Hospitals should enforce hand hygiene protocols as well as disinfection protocols for mobile and hospital phones, the group wrote.


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