Scientists identify mobile phones as ‘Trojan horses’ for COVID-19

SRINAGAR : The COVID-19 pandemic shows no signs of abating in the near future. Cases continue to surge around the world and in India too. While scientists across the world are trying their best to develop a cure and vaccine for the deadly contagion, it may still be another year before we see one in the market. This new variant of coronavirus is highly contagious, and it spread to most parts of the world in under three months’ time.

Many experts have tried to figure out how this disease spreads from one person to another.Apart from respiratory droplets that can be inhaled from the air, this deadly virus also thrives on surfaces. Now researchers say that your mobile phone may also have contributed to the rapid spread of COVID-19.

The journal Travel Medicine and Infectious Diseases published this study.

Why mobile phones are such a big threat to infection control

Researchers found that golden staph and E. Coli microbes to be the most common bugs on mobile phones. Your phones provide the perfect environment for these microbes. In the words of the researchers, mobile devices were ‘five-star hotels with premium heated spas, free buffet for microbes to thrive on.

They have temperature control, we keep them in our pockets, we are addicted to them, we talk into them and deposit droplets that can be full of viruses, bacteria — you name it. We also eat with them, so we give nutrients to micro-organisms. Sounds really yucky, right? No, alcohol can’t kill the novel coronavirus, as claimed by Rajasthan Congress MLA

Researchers further add that ‘ nobody washes or decontaminates their phone. People also travelled with their phones and no border officers check them. This also causes a biosecurity concern.

That’s why mobile phones are Trojan horses. We don’t know that we are carrying the enemy with us’. Hypertension drugs may increase risk of COVID-19: Don’t let your BP shoot up during the lockdown

How mobile phone helped spread COVID-19

According to researchers, people touch their devices up to 5000 times a day and even the average user handled them an average of three hours a day. Community transmission of COVID-19 may occur when an infected person touched their phone and then a pole on a bus which was grasped by an elderly person.

The deadly contagion behind the current pandemic may reside within these mobile phones spreading COVID-19 everywhere at superfast speed. But if people take care to clean their devices regularly and discontaminate them, it can save many lives.

Phones must be decontaminated daily, say experts

Researchers from the Bond University in Australia reviewed 56 studies from 24 countries and found that phones host a staggering cocktail of live germs. Most of these studies predate the current pandemic.

But researchers are convinced that the virus responsible for COVID-19 — SARS-CoV-2 — is probably present on mobile phones and other touch-screen devices of coronavirus sufferers. They say that it is the need of the hour to decontaminated phones on a daily basis.

Keep your phone clean

You can do so regularly with either 70 per cent isopropyl or by sanitising with ultraviolet devices like PhoneSoap. You can also use an alcohol-based sanitizer rub. Pour few drops of sanitizer on a clean cotton pad and rub it safely on your entire phone.

(With inputs from IANS)

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