Keyboards, computer mice and telephone dials are 400 times more infested with microbes than toilet seats, according to a University of Arizona study.


The study recommends that office workstations be regularly disinfected since they can on average contain 400 times as many germs as a toilet seat, said Charles Gerba, a University of Arizona microbiologist.



According to the study, telephones harboured up to 25,127 germs per square inch, keyboards 3295 and computer mice 1676. The average office contains 20,961 germs per square inch.



“Desks are really bacteria cafeterias,” Mr Gerba said in a press release. “They are breakfast bars, lunch tables and everything else, as we spend more hours at the office.



“When someone is infected with a cold or flu bug, the surfaces they touch during the day become germ-transfer points because some cold and flu viruses can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours,” he added. “An office can become an incubator.”



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