Clean your phone as often as you wash your hands, doctors advise in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus
- Doctors declare that members of the public should be wiping down their smartphones as often as they wash their hands
- Medical experts on Good Morning America say anti-bacterial wipes, such as Lysol, are most effective when cleaning a phone
- Doctors also advise wiping down computer keyboards and pens, even if they are not used communally
- It comes amid fears that coronavirus can live on surfaces for up to two weeks
- Worldwide, more than 96,000 people have been infected with COVID-19 and more than 3,300 people have died in relation to the illness
Doctors are urging the public to clean their smartphones as often as they wash their hands in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus.
The medics made the plea on Thursday’s edition of Good Morning America, where a ‘Coronavirus Comand Center’ was set up with multiple experts answering questions from anxious viewers.
One doctor declared that smartphones can carry thousands of germs, and failure to frequently wipe down devices might mitigate the effects of regular hand washing.
‘As many times as you wash your hands today, you can consider wiping down your phone. They get pretty dirty,’ the expert advised, adding that people should thoroughly wipe the front, back and sides of their smartphones.
The medics say alcohol wipes, such as those produced by Lysol, are most effective as they contain active ingredients that kill more than 99% of bacteria.
Doctors are urging the public to clean their smartphones as often as they wash their hands in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus
Meanwhile, ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton also advised viewers to regularly wipe down computer keyboards and pens.
She similarly urged people to use the same type of alcohol wipes, and said the items still need to be cleaned even if they aren’t used by multiple people.
The cautions come amid fears that coronavirus could live on surfaces for up to two weeks.
While Dr. Ashton declared that had not been proven, she stated that it’s still sensible for the public to take precautions.
Elsewhere during her appearance on Thursday’s edition of GMA, the medical expert stated that the coronavirus epidemic is moving too quickly to have an accurate death and illness rate.
In the US, more than 170 cases have been confirmed and 11 deaths, in California and Washington, have occurred
On Tuesday, the World Health Organisation announced the global mortality rate of the virus jumped to 3.4 percent, up from the previously reported two percent.
But Dr. Ashton said that people should not be panicking over the revised numbers.
‘This is a dynamic and evolving situation,’ Dr. Ashton stated.
‘We’re collecting data literally by the hour and that mortality rate depends on the denominator. It depends on how many people are truly infected and that number is still unknown.’
She said the rate is subject to change constantly because researchers don’t know the exact number of people who’ve fallen ill. Pictured: Dr Ashton (left) speaks to Amy Robach (right)
Dr Ashton echoed the words of federal health officials, who’ve told Congress that it’s still too early to determine US death rates from coronavirus.
During a meeting of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday, Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it’s too early to report the rate because it’s unknown how many have been infected with the disease.
He explained that researchers are still trying to work out the exact number of people who’ve fallen ill, because some may be asymptomatic.
As of lunchtime Thursday, more than 170 Americans have tested positive to coronavirus, with a majority of the cases clustered on the west coast.
11 American have died in relation to the virus – with all but one of the victims located in Washington state.
Worldwide, more than 96,000 people have been infected with COVID-19 and more than 3,300 people have died in relation to the illness
The higher death rate among older people likely indicates that the older patients either had other diseases at the time they were infected, weaker immune systems, or just worse overall health. Pictured: An equipment service worker sprays a disinfectant throughout a metro bus at the King County Metro Atlantic/Central operating base, March 4
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS?
Like other coronaviruses, including those that cause the common cold and that triggered SARS, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness.
The most common symptoms are:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
Although having a runny nose doesn’t rule out coronavirus, it doesn’t thus far appear to be a primary symptom.
Most people only become mildly ill, but the infection can turn serious and even deadly, especially for those who are older or have underlying health conditions.
In these cases, patients develop pneumonia, which can cause:
- Potentially with yellow, green or bloody mucus
- Fever, sweating and shaking chills
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid or shallow breathing
- Pain when breathing, especially when breathing deeply or coughing
- Low appetite, energy and fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting (more common in children)
- Confusion (more common in elderly people)
- Some patients have also reported diarrhea and kidney failure has occassionally been a complication.
Avoid people with these symtpoms. If you develop them, call your health care provider before going to the hospital or doctor, so they and you can prepare to minimize possible exposure if they suspect you have coronavirus.
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