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Cell phones helping spread hospital superbugs?

Researchers in Turkey have discovered that the cell phones of hospital staff may be responsible for spreading serious infections because they are infested with bacteria.

Perhaps you, too, have friends who go nowhere without their hand sanitizer. Perhaps you, too, laugh at them beneath your clenched top lip.

However, researchers at Ondokiz Mayis University in Turkey are discovering that germs lurk everywhere. Especially in cell phones belonging to doctors and nurses, according to an Agence France Presse report. In fact, these phones may be a significant source of infections such as MRSA, which seems to have become an increasing danger in hospitals all over the world.

In researching the cell phones and dominant hands of 200 doctors and nurses, the researchers found that 95 percent of the phones were home to at least one bacterium. Nearly 35 percent hosted two. And 11 percent enjoyed three or more bugs of various descriptions.

What is perhaps most stunning is that 1 in 8 were found to harbor the potentially deadly MRSA bug, which is said to be the cause of 60 percent of all hospital infections.

Cc Jurvetson

It's something that few people think about, but how often does anyone clean their cell phone? We're all being told relentlessly to wash our hands. Especially if we're employees of the restaurant in which the restroom that carries the notice is housed.

But cell phones sit in fluff-filled pockets, on dirty train tables, in scarcely pristine meeting rooms, on car seats that may have recently been vacated by the bottom of someone not necessarily as anally retentive as ourselves, and then we put them to our fingers, our ears, and our mouths.

Of course, cell phones are vital tools in hospitals. The question now might be: how do you get those over-stressed, over-partied doctors to clean their cell phones with alcohol-based disinfectants?

Perhaps they could just breathe on them.