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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Not Smart: Smart Cell Phones Spreading Germs; Hand Hygiene Horror?

Below article is courtesy of UK The Co-Operative Pharmacy, a publication of the Co-Operative Group; a global business enterprise employing 80,000 and annual revenue of $14 billion..

New technology, from smart and mobile phones to laptops, could be spreading illnesses and potentially killer diseases because of poor hand hygiene, according to research released today (16 August 2010) by The Co-operative Pharmacy.

Each year, more than 750 people die and almost one million people¹ are ill with bugs which can be passed on or contracted by not washing hands.

As part of its ethical strategy, The Co-operative Pharmacy commissioned the study by ICM² into hand hygiene, which revealed that one in three people use a mobile phone or BlackBerry when on the toilet while one in twenty people also surf on a laptop.

Almost one in three people admitted to not using soap or handwash and one in five people don’t always wash their hands after being on the loo.

Mobile and smart phones³ have been shown to be dirty and have high levels of bacteria, which indicate poor personal hygiene, and act as a breeding ground for other bugs.

The research by The Co-operative Pharmacy also found that one in ten people said they never or only sometimes washed their hands while people admitted to reading a newspaper or magazine (48 per cent), cleaning their teeth, drinking and eating when on the toilet.

John Nuttall, Managing Director of The Co-operative Pharmacy, said: “As a leading community pharmacy we believe it is vital to make people aware of the importance of good hand hygiene when visiting the toilet.

“In the UK, the new trend of using smart and mobile phones in addition to laptops on the toilet is inadvertently raising the risk of the spread of infections, which affect hundreds of thousands of people. The symptoms are very unpleasant for most people and, in some circumstances, can be fatal.”

Dr. Paul Cleary, Epidemiologist, Health Protection Agency, said: “Hand-washing is important at all times, but particularly after going to the toilet, before and after preparing food and before eating.

“Thorough handwashing with soap and water is the best protection against C diff and viral infections, such as the common cold, flu and norovirus. It also reduces the chances of cross-contamination when preparing food and therefore affords some protection against food-borne infections, such as salmonella and campylobacter.”

1 comment:

Industrial Supplies said...

People usually do not offer their cell phones out to multiple people. The cell phone is being used by one person and as long as that person is sanitary and washing their hands and using hand sanitizer, their phone should stay pretty sanitary as well.