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Cellphones and bacteria: A love affair bred from human habits

Wednesday - 10/24/2012, 7:29am  ET

WASHINGTON - There may be as many germs on cellphones as there are on the handles in a bathroom.

Cellphones are like an extension of their owners' bodies, often residing close to ears, noses and mouths. Combine that with the phone's bacteria-loving warmth and people could catch pinkeye, diarrhea or the flu by way of their phone.

The Wall Street Journal reports that people are feeding the bacteria on phones by putting them on restaurant tables, having them at the gym and sometimes carrying them into the bathroom. That greasy smear on a touch-screen phone could also indicate bugs.

Some experts recommend cleaning a phone with alcohol to remove all the bacteria, though some phone manufacturers warn that it may harm the screen.

WTOP's Veronica Robinson contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)