UAE Cautions Against Using Mobile Phones in Bathrooms

People often bring their cellphones everywhere they go, even to places where germs flourish, because of the widespread usage of smartphones. This is especially true in the United Arab Emirates, where 17.1 million people own smartphones.

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Despite their constant companionship, many people overlook the importance of regularly cleaning their phones. Recent research conducted at the University of Arizona revealed startling findings: mobile phones harbor ten times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Doctors in the UAE echo this concern, emphasizing that phones, being high-touch surfaces, are susceptible to contamination, especially in areas like bathrooms and places where food is prepared or consumed.

A study conducted among residents of Abu Dhabi revealed encouraging results regarding phone hygiene practices. The research, published in an open-access scientific journal, involved collecting swab samples from participants' phones and subjecting them to bacterial culture and antimicrobial susceptibility tests. Results indicated that the majority of participants, approximately 91.1%, reported cleaning their phones regularly using wipes and alcohol. This proactive approach to phone hygiene reflects a growing awareness of the potential health risks associated with bacterial contamination.

Healthcare professionals emphasize the need for better hand hygiene practices and regular phone cleaning to mitigate the risk of infections. Mobile phones can harbor various infectious bacteria, including Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, E. coli, Enterococcus faecalis, and MRSA, which pose serious health threats, especially to individuals with weakened immune systems. Faecal material, in particular, can contain harmful bacteria like E. coli and Enterococcus faecalis, leading to symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, and nausea, with potentially fatal consequences for vulnerable individuals.

To minimize the risk of contamination, experts recommend removing phone cases or covers and thoroughly cleaning the screen, buttons, corners, and other areas prone to the accumulation of lint and dust. Using a soft cloth dampened with water infused with a disinfectant liquid is an effective method for cleaning mobile phones. Additionally, regular handwashing, wiping the phone with disinfectant wipes, and cleaning it with a mixture of alcohol and water at least once a week are recommended preventive measures.

Moreover, healthcare professionals advise against using phones in bathrooms, where bacteria are abundant. Bathrooms present an environment conducive to bacterial growth, increasing the risk of infections transmitted through contaminated devices. By practicing good hygiene habits and adhering to proper phone cleaning routines, individuals can significantly reduce the risk of illnesses caused by bacteria on their mobile phones.

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