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Touch-screen devices can harbor flu germs

October 18, 2010
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SACRAMENTO, CA — Personal touch-screen devices — iPads, BlackBerrys and Droids — are now seemingly everywhere, potentially harboring the germs and viruses that turn voices raspy and send noses running, according to The Sacramento Bee.
"If you''re sharing the device, then you''re sharing your influenza with someone else who touches it," said Timothy Julian, a Stanford University doctoral student who co-authored a study on the spread of viruses.
British researchers provide some stomach-churning data: Mobile phones harbor 18 times more bacteria than a flush handle in a typical men''s restroom, the article stated.
According to Julian''s study, published online in July by the Journal of Applied Microbiology, the risks of transmitting pathogens from glass surfaces to a person''s skin are relatively high.
"If you put virus on a surface, like an iPhone, about 30 percent of it will get on your fingertips," Julian said. In turn, "a fair amount of it may go from your fingers to your eyes, mouth or nose," the most likely routes of infection.
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