Cell Phones Used in Hospitals Found to Harbour Staph, Super Bug
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Cellular News is reporting today the results of a study done at a hospital in Ireland, which found that cell phones which are used in hospitals by hospital staff harbour such nasty pathogens as staphyloccocus, diptheroids, and the dreaded “hospital super bug” methicillin-resistant staphyloccus aureus “MRSA”

The study was conducted at Ireland’s Craigavon Area Hospital Group Trust, and written up in the Journal of Hospital Infection.


Fully 96% of cell phones carried regularly by hospital staff had some sort of dangerous pathogen on them, even though less than half of those phones saw daily usage in the hospital.

Ninety-eight percent of the phones were contaminated with the staph virus, nearly half with micrococcus, and 20% with bacillus.

The most troubling finding was two cell phones which were contaminated with methicillin-resistant staphyloccus aureus, or MRSA, the so-called hospital super bug.

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Says Wikipedia of these pathogens, “Staphylococcus aureus (colloquially known as “Staph aureus”) is one of the major resistant pathogens.. It was the first bacterium in which penicillin resistance was found — in 1947, just four years after the drug started being mass-produced. Methicillin was then the antibiotic of choice. MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) was first detected in Britain in 1961 and is now “quite common” in hospitals. MRSA was responsible for 37% of fatal cases of blood poisoning in the UK in 1999, up from 4% in 1991. Half of all S. aureus infections in the US are resistant to penicillin, methicillin, tetracycline and erythromycin.”

The study points out that while patients are probably not at risk from cell phone-borne diseases, as they do not generally use cell phones belonging to hospital staff, hospitals should look to instituting cell phone decontamination procedures.

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