One of the most virulent sources of infection is the virus MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant strain of staph that often gets passed around in hospitals. Now a new study has revealed that one of the major vectors for MRSA infection are the mobile phones owned by hospital workers. According to a release about the study, published today:
Researchers from the Faculty of Medicine at the Ondokuz Mayis University, Turkey, tested the phones of doctors and nurses in hospital operating rooms and intensive care units. They found that almost 95% were contaminated with bacteria of different types, potentially causing infections ranging from relatively minor skin complaints to life-threatening illness. Only 10% of staff regularly cleaned their phone. According to the authors, "Our results suggest cross-contamination of bacteria between the hands of healthcare workers and their mobile phones. These mobile phones could act as a reservoir of infection which may facilitate patient-to-patient transmission of bacteria in a hospital setting".