Reminder: Clean your phone

Woman cleaning mobile phone display

DALLAS – April 11, 2019 – 

Your cell phone can harbor bacteria-causing infections, so remember to properly clean it, infectious disease experts at UT Southwestern say.

“Think of your phone as being similar to your kitchen countertop that is commonly in contact with various products, raw foods, and dirty hands,” says Dr. Trish Perl, Chief of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “Our phones can harbor bacteria and viruses; one published study suggested that up to 63 percent of phones had bacteria isolated that could cause infections.”

Cleaning can help break the transmission cycle.

“If you are in contact with someone ill, the phone should be cleaned several times a day,” she says. “It’s important to recognize that the phone can harbor organisms, that they are commonly contaminated, and that the organisms can live on phones for hours to days.”

Check the manufacturer’s paperwork for approved products for sanitizing your phone, Dr. Perl advises. “Use approved products, but usage should be done carefully so as not to hurt the phone’s integrity.”

About UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern, one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation, integrates pioneering biomedical research with exceptional clinical care and education. The institution’s faculty has received six Nobel Prizes, and includes 22 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 17 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 15 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. The full-time faculty of more than 2,500 is responsible for groundbreaking medical advances and is committed to translating science-driven research quickly to new clinical treatments. UT Southwestern physicians provide care in about 80 specialties to more than 105,000 hospitalized patients, nearly 370,000 emergency room cases, and oversee approximately 3 million outpatient visits a year.