Hospital mobile phones 'spread superbugs'

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Washington, Mar 6 (ANI): Mobile phones used by hospital workers can be a source of hospital-acquired infections that kill thousands of people every year, say researchers.

These superbugs could easily be transmitted from patient to patient causing potentially fatal infections.

During the study, the team tested the phones of doctors and nurses in hospital operating rooms and intensive care units, and found 95pct were contaminated with bacteria of different types, that may cause infections ranging from relatively minor skin complaints to life-threatening illness.

Only 10pct of staff regularly cleaned their phone.

"Our results suggest cross-contamination of bacteria between the hands of healthcare workers and their mobile phones," said the authors.

"These mobile phones could act as a reservoir of infection which may facilitate patient-to-patient transmission of bacteria in a hospital setting," they added.

There is a need for active strategies to prevent contamination of mobile phones and other hand-held electronic devices: strict infection-control procedure, environmental disinfection, hand hygiene and decontamination methods are recommended, the scientists suggested. (ANI)

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