Can Cell Phones Carry Contamination? Study Shows They Can

Though veterinarians and horse owners and managers often practice strict biosecurity protocols, including foot baths and glove changes between horses, a new study has shown that one kind of equipment is often overlooked as a harbinger of potential contamination: portable electronic devices.

It would be nearly impossible to run a business without a cell phone these days, and veterinarians are particularly wedded to their devices, which often include tablets to access patient records, calendars and more.

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Though it may seem that these devices would have little ability to carry contamination between horses, a British study has shown that it is possible for them to carry harmful organisms. Once a veterinarian taps or swipes on a device, he or she may then transfer the bacteria or virus to a patient he touches next.

Researchers at the University of Bristol small animal hospital found that 41 staff members used portable electronic devices every day inside the hospital. They swabbed and tested 47 devices for contamination. Staphylococci was found on 68 percent of the devices and more than one-third of isolated colonies were resistant to vancomycin and oxacillin.

Of the staff used in the study, 54 percent cleaned their devices with disinfectant; 21 percent cleaned them weekly or daily, but 44 percent never cleaned their devices at all.

The researchers conclude that portable electronic devices have the potential to become contaminated with harmful bacteria and should be disinfected at least once a day with an antimicrobial wipe or spray.

Read the paper here.

Read more at EquiManagement.

The post Can Cell Phones Carry Contamination? Study Shows They Can appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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