Your phone may carry bacteria found in human, animal faecal matter: Study

The results showed that 50 per cent of smartphone screens carried bacteria P. aeruginosa, commonly found in cockroach faeces

BS Web Team New Delhi
Mobile, smartphones, internet, gaming, tech

Photo: Bloomberg

There are many harmful bacteria that live on our smartphones which are commonly found in human and animal faecal matter, says a new study by SellCell, the Economic Times reported.
The results showed that 50 per cent of smartphone screens carried bacteria P. aeruginosa, commonly found in cockroach faeces. 
More shockingly, 100 per cent of screens carried E. coli (Esherichia coli) and faecal streptococci, bacteria found in human and animal excreta.
Bacteria that cause intense food poisoning were also found in 100 per cent of sample smartphone screens. S. aureus, Pneumonia causing bacteria were also present in 100 per cent of phone screens.
Smartphones have become an important part of our day-to-day activities as the majority of users always have phones in their hands or pockets. Most people with smartphones start their day by checking their mobile phones for any new notifications they might have missed out on and end their days by scrolling through apps on their smartphones. 
As people use their mobiles while travelling in crowded places, in toilets, and while eating, it is but natural that these phones carry many harmful bacteria.

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The study provides shocking details on how bacteria that are commonly found in the human and animal faecal matter were detected in smartphones.
While conducting the study, researchers conducted two sterile bacterial collection swabs on smartphone screens of ten randomly selected individuals. They took multiple swabs from each screen to ensure accuracy in the result. These swabs were then put through a developing fluid before being sent in for bacterial analysis.
The research listed common types of bacteria and the potential risks associated with them. 
Scrolling through mobile phones while in the toilet can expose our devices to E. coli and Faecal streptococci and Enterococci bacteria strains that become airborne once you hit the flush. The study also highlights that taking the same smartphone that has collected bacteria from the washroom to other parts of our houses can cause a further spread of these diseases causing bacteria.
E.coli is often associated with diarrhoea, vomiting and even urinary tract infections. However, the study says that the majority of E.coli's variants are harmless. But with several strands of different bacteria accumulated on the screen, the probability of harm increases. 
The study highlights the importance of sanitising our smartphones to keep them clean. Keeping disinfectant wipes handy to clean your smartphones can help you steer clear of harmful bacteria the study suggested. 

First Published: Mar 20 2023 | 4:50 PM IST

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