Viruses on Phones
It is hard to think of a technology that has gone from introduction to essential tool faster than the smartphone. Within ten years of the introduction of the iPhone, almost three out of four American adults had a smartphone.1 Globally, the trend towards internet-connected phone adoption is striking as well. Nearly 90 percent of the world’s adults have a mobile phone, and around half of them are smartphones.2
We use our smartphones for everything, and instinctively reach for them when we have a spare moment. Our phones are so entwined with our identities that many people treat them as an extension of their person, and are kept on hand most of the day.
Unfortunately, all the mileage that we put on our phones means that smartphones end up harboring bacterial and viral pathogens. Studies have found that almost every smartphone is likely to have bacteria or viral particles on them.3 The bacteria or viruses may be innocuous, such as the kinds that harmlessly live on our skin or in our mouths. However, research has shown that many phones also carry harmful varieties of bacterial spores and viral particles .4
While it may be straightforward to reduce the number of bacteria or viruses on one’s hands through diligent washing, it generally isn’t possible to give a smartphone a rinse with soap and water. Even for phones that may be water-resistant or rated for full water submersion, bacteria and viruses are so small that they can exist in small crevices and ports on the phone.
In order to clean a phone, special measures must be taken. A thorough wipe with a special antibacterial phone cleaner can reduce the amount of bacterial material on the screen or body of the phone; however, it may be difficult or impossible to remove collected debris in the holes for the microphone or the headphone jack.
Luckily, there is an easy way to kill bacteria and viruses your phone: with an activated oxygen device, such as the SoClean Device Disinfector. This device generates a form of oxygen that reacts with a virus or bacteria and deactivates or kills them.
Activated oxygen can circulate into the difficult-to-reach areas of a phone where bacteria or viruses may remain.
Bacteria are single-celled living organisms that can cause a wide variety of diseases. Different strains and types of bacteria can cause different ailments, and there are even harmless bacteria with harmful varieties.5 For example, E. coli is for the most part a harmless bacteria that lives in the human digestive system, but some variants cause terrible stomach distress.6
Viruses do not have cells, and are usually little more than a strand of DNA or RNA encased in a protein shell.7 They rely on living cells to reproduce, and after infecting a cell, they hijack the machinery of life in order to produce more viruses. Because they are not able to make copies of themselves independently, they are not truly considered living things. They can still cause serious infections and disease, and many of the most dangerous ailments are viral. For example, smallpox, HIV, and COVID-19 are viral diseases.
Each bacterial cell or virion, the smallest active unit of a virus, may be capable of causing an infection or disease. They are able to reproduce exponentially once they have successfully invaded the human body. This means that every bacterial cell and virus can be more dangerous than their microscopic size would suggest. An air purifier for viruses can help reduce the spread of airborne viral diseases in your home or workplace, as well as improve air quality.8
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The kinds of viruses that can be present and able to transfer on phones are the kinds of viruses that are able to survive outside of the human body. Some viruses, such as HIV, are permanently deactivated after they dry out, so they would not be able to survive on the surfaces of phones. However, the viruses that cause influenza are able to remain viable for up to 48 hours, meaning they can pose a threat to human health for days.10
A phone case may reduce the number of viruses and bacteria on the encased phone. However, since you will be mostly touching your phone case, a case alone will not provide any sort of prevention. You will still have to clean the case to reduce the number of viruses on the case.
If the case is waterproof, gently washing a phone case with soap and water could reduce the number of viruses and bacteria on the phone case.
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Viruses and bacteria can thrive in your home and even on everyday items, like your smartphone. Keep your devices SoClean with the SoClean Device Disinfector. The SoClean Device Disinfector uses activated oxygen to kill viruses and bacteria--no water and no messy chemicals. It kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria in minutes, keeping your personal items SoClean.