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Monday, October 18, 2010

#Apple iPhones & iPads: Petri Dishes for Bacteria

New research suggests a cell phone has 18 times the amount of bacteria found on a toilet handle.

"If you put a virus on a surface, like an iPhone, about 30 percent of it will get on your fingertips," says Timothy Julian, a Stanford University doctoral student who co-authored the study on the spread of viruses. And it won't be long before you touch your eyes, nose or mouth -- the mucous membranes through which many viruses get into the body.

Peter Collignon, a specialist in infectious diseases at the Australian National University, followed research that found a higher risk of transmitting pathogens from glass surfaces like on iPads to human skin.

"You wouldn't have hundreds of people using the same glass or cup, but theoretically if hundreds of people share the same keyboard or touch pad, then effectively that's what you're doing," the Age quoted Collignon as saying in a phone interview.

"The germs we transmit via our hands can frequently have germs that can cause anything from the flu to multi-drug resistant diseases."

Scores of people visit Apple stores around the country every day to play with the company's latest gadgets. Earlier this year, an investigation by the New York Daily News found that of four iPads swabbed in two Apple stores, two contained harmful pathogens.

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