Your keyboard can give you a 'qwerty tummy'

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New Delhi, May 1 (UNI) Computer keyboards harbour harmful bacteria that can give one a 'qwerty tummy', named after the first six letters on them.

So much so, some keyboards were found to have five times as much bacteria as a lavatory seat during tests, according to the British consumer group Which?.

Many computer users are at risk of becoming ill with stomach bugs, it claimed.

It also warned that 'qwerty tummy' could sweep through workplaces after tests on equipment in its own London offices showed alarming results.

A microbiologist swabbed 33 keyboards for food poisoning bugs and compared the results to those found on a lavatory seat and lavatory door handle.

Four of the keyboards were considered a potential health hazard and one was ''condemned''. Two had ''warning levels'' of staphylococcus aureus and two others had ''worryingly elevated'' levels of coliforms and enterobacteria, ''putting users at high risk of becoming ill from contact'', he said.

The expert said the findings were typical of offices all over Britain.

Which? computing editor Sarah Kidner said, ''The main cause of a bug-infested keyboard is eating lunch at desks, as the food deposits encourage the growth of millions of bacteria. Poor personal hygiene, such as dodging hand washing after going to the lavatory, may also be to blame.

''Most people don't give much thought to the grime that builds up on their PC, but if you don't clean your computer, you might as well eat your lunch off a lavatory seat,'' she added.

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