Cell phones have 18 times more bacteria than a toilet handle

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iPhones, iPads, Android phones, and pretty much anything else with a touch screen is likely to be covered in germs and viruses according to recent research. "If you're sharing the device, then you're sharing your influenza with someone else who touches it," Timothy Julian, a Stanford University doctoral student who co-authored a study on the spread of viruses, told The Sacramento Bee. That's not too surprising, but the extent of it is. British Which magazine hired a hygiene expert who then sampled 30 mobile phones and found that "Mobile phones harbor 18 times more bacteria than a flush handle in a typical men's restroom."

If you use another person's phone, 30 percent of a virus can make it to your fingertips just by touching the screen. If you rub your eyes, bite your nails, or put your hands to your face, the virus can get into your system. The information comes from a study from the July Journal of Applied Microbiology.

We're not saying you should stop playing with your friends' mobile phones or never let anyone touch yours. As we move into fall though, and with the flu season coming up, just keep the information in mind. Remember, there are plenty of other ways to spread the flu. Don't be paranoid about it; as long as your immune system is working, worrying about getting sick is probably more harmful than doing your best to use every single phone in sight while walking down the street.

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