As Flu Season Starts, Doctors Warn Against Phones In The Bathroom

CBS Local — It seems like cell phones and other mobile devices go with their owners to every possible location, including the bathroom.

Medical experts are now warning people who like to talk or text on the toilet that the habit may get you very sick at this time of the year.

“There are bacteria all over the bathroom—on the flusher, the door handles, the toilet seat. You may wash your hands once you’re done, but you don’t wash your phone,” Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt told Health.com. With the start of flu season, health professionals are urging people to keep their phones out of the already germ-infested stalls.

The CDC notes that talking on your phone spreads germs from your respiratory system onto the screen, some of which can cause the flu. Those particles can live on the surface of your devices for up to 24 hours. Once there, the viral particles are easily spread by you or anyone else’s fingers after touching the screen or buttons.

Regardless of flu season or not, medical experts have continued to sound the alarm against using your cell phone on the toilet. Scientists at the University of Arizona have shown evidence that your phone carries 10 times as much bacteria than the average toilet seat.

To avoid the spread of these germs, Dr. Brahmbhatt added that cleaning your phone daily with a cloth and anti-viral cleanser will help keep you healthy on and off of the toilet. CDC officials estimate that as many as 700,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized each year from the flu.

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