Clean your phone as often as you wash your hands: Infectious diseases professor warns about mobiles and COVID-19

Experts are warning: Your mobile phone hygiene is something you should be incredibly careful with when it comes to COVID-19.

Professor Nigel McMillan, an Infectious Diseases and Immunology specialist from Griffith University, has revealed that our smartphones also need special care when it comes to disinfection. McMillan specializes in infectious diseases and the risk of transmission, as well as how the coronavirus compares to other diseases.

Studies have conducted that coronavirus can survive on the kinds of smooth glass and plastic found in smartphones for up to nine days, depending on the conditions. On average, we touch our mobile phones about 2,617 times daily. That’s why we need to be extremely cautious and clean them regularly. Professor McMillan explains:

“COVID-19 can live on any surface and the more moist it is, the longer it will live there. The safest thing to do is consider your phone an extension of your hand, so remember you are transferring whatever is on your hand to the phone.”

Having this in mind, we should be disinfecting our smartphones every time we put them somewhere or do something and then touch them. Moreover, the professor advises not to put our phones in random places if possible. He says we need to clean them every time someone else touches them too, as the virus could be living on it much longer than we might think.

To cleanse our devices, McMillan recommends using hand sanitizer or lens cleaner for glasses.

“They must have at least 60 or 70 percent alcohol,’ he said. Alternatively, they need isopropal alcohol or rubbing alcohol. Spray and wipe products will also do in a pinch as they have detergent.”

Recently, Apple has changed its position on using alcohol-based wipes and similar disinfecting products on their devices. Now, they say that the problematic wipes are safe to use and recommend using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to gently wipe the hard, non-porous surfaces of your digital device. However, they still suggest their clients using a slightly damp lint-free cloth to wipe their devices clean.

Of course, washing our hands frequently still remains a must. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing our hands at frequent intervals to prevent catching the virus.

They also advise everyone to follow five specific steps to ensure they are washing their hands the right way.

1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

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