A new culprit has emerged in the spread of the tough-to-kill "superbug" bacteria and other infections in hospitals-mobile phones.
Turkish researchers testing the phones of doctors and nurses working in hospitals found that 95% of them were contaminated with bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This particular strain can cause serious staph infections and is resistant to certain common antibiotics.
The team from the Faculty of Medicine at the Ondokuz Mayis University also found that only a small percentage of the staff-about 10%regularly cleaned their phones.
"Our results suggest cross-contamination of bacteria between the hands of health-care workers and their mobile phones. These mobile phones could act as a reservoir of infection which may facilitate patient-to-patient transmission of bacteria in a hospital setting," said the authors of the study, published online in Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials.
Preventing The Spread Of Infection
To combat the spread of disease and infections through contaminated hand-held electronic devices, the authors recommended proactive strategies to disinfect and decontaminate the devices and the practice of improved hand hygiene.
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