Nowadays, people take their phones with them everywhere they go, from the gym to the bathroom and then to the dinner table and even to bed. Throughout your day, you inevitably shake hands, touch doorknobs and staircase railings – and then you touch your phone and put it against your face.
Viruses are known to live on inanimate objects like phones, particularly in colder climates and seasons (because heat kills viruses) so we need to be aware of who we share or pass our phone to.
With flu season in full swing, it’s crucial that we keep our phones germ-free. The flu has been spreading fast across the country this year, with more than half of states reporting widespread activity. In fact, this year’s flu outbreak is one of the worst in a decade, says the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Below are tips from Dr. Geeta Nayyar, AT&T’s Chief Medical Information Officer, to help you avoid getting the flu and other harmful germs from your phone:
- Consider getting a flu shot. If you are sick and experiencing flu symptoms, do not share your phone and stay home to avoid infecting others. Keep your germs to yourself.
- Avoid sick people. If you share your phone with friends or family be careful, you may be sharing more than just your phone, you may be spreading a virus!
- Wash your hands frequently. Sing a verse from a familiar song (e.g., “Happy Birthday”) while lathering and rinsing. Don’t rush.If soap and water are not available to wash hands then use disinfectant like hand sanitizer.
- Wash your phone! If you think it has been contaminated, disinfect your phone. Use a wrung-out disinfectant wipe or spray a paper towel with disinfectant. Don’t spray the phone. (Remember that washing your hands and then touching a dirty phone or keypad is self-limiting).
- Try using a Bluetooth device or other hands-free headset, minimizing your keypad-to-face exposure.
- Don’t – please don’t – use your phone in a restroom. Some things can wait!
Find more information about the flu at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention site here: https://www.cdc.gov/
Submitted by Katelyn O’Riordan on behalf of AT&T CMIO Dr. Nayyar