Your Phone Could Harbor More Than One Type Of Virus

Healthcare agencies across the state are seeing an increase in cases of influenza and influenza-like illnesses, RSV and many other viruses. In keeping with their advice on preventative measures such as hand washing, covering when you cough or sneeze and sanitizing surfaces, one company is saying that you should take the same precautions with one of your most-touched items, your cell phone. U.S. Cellular warns that viruses can survive on hard surfaces for up to 48 hours, and considering cell phone users are touching their phones on average 2,617 times a day, the device can be a virtual germ hostel. “Experts tell us that the most common ways the flu is spread is through person-to-person contact, as well as from dirty hands that touch our face,” says Mike Adams, U.S. Cellular director of sales for Iowa and Nebraska. “For this reason, we highly recommend washing hands after handling objects touched by others and not sharing your smartphone, especially during the flu season.” They also suggest that you frequently clean your device with a soft, slightly damp, lint-free cloth and that you use a hands-free headset. And do not use your device in restrooms. There are also many free apps that can be downloaded to help track flu outbreaks in your area, to connect with board-certified physicians, to learn about alternative remedies and much more.