Most bacteria found on touch screens is resistant to antibiotics, RIT study finds

Health Watch

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A study by students at RIT points to one particular culprit when it comes to spreading disease and many of us carry it everywhere we go. The students and the professor specifically studied the bacteria found on touch screens. Those particles sitting on our phone screens could end up causing a global health problem.

If you’ve been to an airport, restaurant, or bank, you’ve probably used a touch screen that thousands of other people before you also touched.

“There is bacteria everywhere I don’t want to say bacteria are only specifically on certain things its ubiquitous on Earth,” said Andre Hudson, the professor involved with the study.

Hudson and his students decided to study the bacteria on touch screens to find out if it’s immune to antibiotics. They found- most of it is.

“Just if you kind of think about all the touch screens in the world in different places such as airports and restaurants and hospitals, places where there tends to be a lot of pathogens and its a reservoir,” said Hudson.

He said your own phone is also covered in bacteria but the community touch screens are worse because they’re a combination of so many people’s bacteria.

“So I think it’s changing people’s behavior or you will see this in restaurants where parents will take the tablet off the table and clean it before their child or themselves use it.”

So what does this mean in the long run?

“What we’re finding again is this notion that bacteria is becoming more resistant is going to be a global health problem. In 2050 the World Health Organization predicts that 10 million people are going to die from antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” Hudson said.

He also said 35,000 people in the United States die per year from contact with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Hudson said to avoid using public touch screens if you can. If you need to use one wipe it down with a disinfectant wipe first, use gloves, or just wash your hands thoroughly after touching it.

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