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Disinfect mobile phones to prevent disease transmission – Physician urges

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A General Physician, Dr Peter Atangwho, on Friday, urged the public to disinfect their mobile phones regularly to prevent disease transmission in the society.

Atangwho who is also the Chief Executive Officer of TeleMed Online Clinic, told our reporter that mobile phones carry infectious pathogens such as bacteria and viruses that could be transmitted and cause serious health complications.

“People touch their mobile phones on average for three to four hours every day. We speak into them regularly, depositing microbes via droplets. We often have them with us while we eat, leading to the deposit of nutrients that help microbes thrive.

“Many people use them in bathrooms and in the toilet, leading to faecal contamination. This is why your phone accumulates a lot of germs.

“Most of us carry these exposed phones at home, at work, while shopping, in food-handling businesses, schools, bars, cafes, airports, healthcare facilities and virtually everywhere, to stay in touch.

“The fingers you use to shake hands with people clean up after using the toilet and touch contaminated surfaces like door handles and ATMs, are the same fingers you use to operate the mobile phone.

“That is how your phone keeps gathering germs from different sources. In fact, different species of microbes like Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, E.coli and viruses like Coronavirus can find their way to your phone screen so easily,” he said.

Atangwho also said that kissing over the phone when not sanitised could also transmit germs into the body.

“Sadly, some people kiss their phone screen while making calls with a loved one, in the name of kissing over the phone.

“If the screen is dirty and contaminated, you are basically kissing germs and giving them a free pass into your body. Your lips should not touch your phone screen,” he said.

The physician, however, highlighted tips on how to prevent mobile phone contamination and disease transmission.

“Do not turn your phone into a germs production factory. Disinfect to reduce your risks of getting sick from bacteria, viruses and fungi lurking on your phone.

“Protect yourself, protect others. Stay safe from your phone germs.

“Do not take your mobile phone to the toilet; do not kiss it with your lips, wash your hands regularly and use alcohol-based scrubs, sanitisers or wipes with 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol to disinfect your phone often.

“Check with your phone manufacturer’s website for any specific instructions on this to avoid damaging your device,” he said.

Lucy Osuizigbo-okechukwu

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