Hospital worker cellphones are hotbeds for fungus, study finds

The Candida fungus was found on the majority of cellphones belonging to employees at a hospital in Poland, according to research published in BMC Infectious Diseases.

Candida can live on the skin and mucous membranes without causing an infection, but, according to the CDC, "overgrowth of these organisms can cause symptoms to develop." Candida can cause thrush, yeast infections and bloodstream infections.

Researchers tested 175 mobile phones and the hands of staff members at University Hospital in Bialystock, Poland. They found 131, or 74.9 percent, of the tested phones were colonized with the fungus. The dominant species identified were Candida albicans, C. glabrata and C. krusei.

Further, just 19.4 percent of participants reported cleaning the surface of their phones.

"These results pose the need to develop guidelines for mobile phone disinfection," the study authors concluded.

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