Bacterial ‘cell’ phones: do cell phones carry potential pathogens?
Chawla, Kiran; Mukhopadhayay, Chiranjay; Gurung, Bimala; Bhate, Priya and Bairy, Indira (2009) Bacterial ‘cell’ phones: do cell phones carry potential pathogens? Online Journal of Health And Allied Sciences, 8 (1). ISSN 0972-5997
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Cell phones are important companions for professionals especially health care workers (HCWs) for better communication in hospital. The present study compared the nature of the growth of potentially pathogenic bacterial flora on cell phones in hospital and community. 75% cell phones from both the categories grew at least one potentially pathogenic organism. Cell phones from HCWs grew significantly more potential pathogens like MRSA (20%), Acinetobacter species (5%), Pseudomonas species (2.5%) as compared to the non HCWs. 97.5% HCWs use their cell phone in the hospital, 57.5% never cleaned their cell phone and 20% admitted that they did not wash their hands before or after attending patients, although majority (77.5%) knows that cell phones can have harmful colonization and act as vector for nosocomial infections. It is recommended, therefore, that cell phones in the hospital should be regularly decontaminated. Moreover, utmost emphasis needs to be paid to hand washing practices among HCWs.
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