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Your computer keyboard, a wonderful harbour for germs

Published on October 21, 2016 at 14:41 / Updated on April 13, 2021 at 16:57

Could your computer keyboard be seriously due for a good cleaning? If we rely on the works of a microbiologist, this object could in fact be dirtier than you can possibly imagine.

A British scientist has gathered samples from 33 computer keyboards, one toilet seat and a door handle in a typical office environment. He then tested them to see what germs he could find. This is how he discovered that four of the keyboards he tested were actually potential health hazards. One among them even had such great concentrations of bacteria, they were five times superior to what had been found on the toilet seat. This is quite understandable because, contrary to keyboards, toilet seats are disinfected on a regular basis.

Considering the frequency with which we touch these computer keyboards and the habit many of us have of eating at our work station, we should not be surprised to find that they contain a considerable amount of germs. But are such high concentrations of bacteria a genuine public health hazard? Probably not, because the environment we live in is populated with bacteria, virus and moulds. So we should not worry about this problem too much. To reduce the amount of germs on your keyboard, you should make cleaning it regularly part of your regular routine.

However, there is an incredibly simple solution to help prevent infections attributable to these germs: meticulously washing your hands with warm water and soap. Although too often neglected, the simple act of washing our hands before eating, after having gone to the washroom and after blowing our nose remains the most effective measure to protect ourselves from infections such as the flu, colds and gastro-enteritis, also known as stomach flu.

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