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It’s long been known that cell phones can carry a multitude of germs, bacteria, and different forms of fungi. The arrival of the COVID-19 virus begs the question if it, too, can live on the surface of a phone and subsequently be transmitted to another person.
A compilation of studies from 24 countries over the past 13 years indicates that it is a likely possibility.
Although COVID-19 was not included in any of these original studies, the rapid rate at which it has spread throughout the world, and the increased and ever-growing physical attachment that people have to their cell phones, leads researchers to believe that phones could, in fact, harbor the virus.
“Cellular phones are ideal vehicles for the virus of COVID-19,” he agreed. “They are repeatedly exposed to material exhaled from our mouth and nose and spend literally hours in our rather filthy hands. Viruses of this type are known to survive on plastics and stainless steel for two to three hours; on aluminum for two to eight hours; on cardboard and paper for up to 24 hours, and ceramic or glass for up to five days.”
While many experts suggest wiping down your phone frequently with a disinfectant and abstaining from sharing your phone with others, Dr. Berger says that it is our hands and not the phones that merit the extra attention when it comes to disinfecting.
“Whenever these and other objects in our daily life are examined in the laboratory, a veritable ‘zoo’ of bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses are discovered. But the common denominator for all of these is the human hand that touches them and then goes to our mouth or nose.”
Keeping your phone clean may help limit exposure to the virus, but even more helpful is to keep your hands clean with frequent washing and then away from your face as much as possible.
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