Can you get MRSA from your cell phone?

My mom was recently in the hospital for back surgery and we all were really careful about infection control – hand washing, using hand sanitizer, and not touching too much. It got me thinking about MRSA …

person washing his hand

Prior to her surgery, my mom was directed to bathe with an antimicrobial skin soap that bonds to the skin and kills bacteria, viruses & fungi for up to 24 hours after washing called Hibiclens. It’s gentle on skin, even with frequent use. Hibiclens is proven to kill many harmful bacteria (including MRSA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Washing with Hibiclens before contact with contaminated skin and surfaces will help eliminate the risk of transfer. However, Hibiclens isn’t recommended for everyday use.

She was also tested for MRSA with a nasal swab test. MRSA is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. It’s tougher to treat than most strains of staphylococcus aureus — or staph — because it’s resistant to some commonly used antibiotics. A MRSA infection would be a post-surgery complication and we wall wanted to avoid that.

MRSA is spread by contact. So, you could get MRSA by touching another person who has it on their skin. Or you could get it by touching objects that have the bacteria on them. MRSA is carried by about 33% of the population (primarily in their nose), although most of them aren’t infected. This means that MRSA can be spread by shaking hands, touching surfaces, and other skin contact. ..and even from your phone.

We often think about cleaning our kitchens and bathrooms but there are other surfaces that we regularly touch that we might not clean regularly. I am thinking about your cell phone, computer keyboard, the arms of your office chair, your computer mouse… maybe the steering wheel in your car. Surface disinfectants like a bleach solution or Lysol can kill MRSA but may need to be left on the surface for a period of time to be effective. Be sure to use these products as directed.

MRSA usually enters the body through a break in the skin. So, dry winter skin can be a problem if there are small cracks in your skin. I LOVE Amlactin lotion to treat dry winter skin.

Take care of yourself and others this winter by washing your hands frequently or using hand sanitizer. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Disinfect surfaces you touch frequently. Here’s to your health!

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