Cellphones are covered in germs – How to keep from getting sick

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PITTSBURGH —

Our cellphones are really germy. Think about all the things you touch, then you scroll through your phone and put it up to your mouth, and now you've given the germs a way in. And that's one way the flu is being spread.

One study found 19 out of 20 phones tested were contaminated with harmful bacteria. They even found some super bugs that are resistant to some of the most common antibiotics.

Medical researchers tested cleaners and found alcohol was the most effective at killing germs, but cellphone manufacturers caution against using household cleaners, because moisture can damage the electronics and abrasives can ruin the protective coating on touch screens.

So, I talked to Larry Evans, the vice president and general manager of AT&T in the Tri-states region, about some other options.

"We would recommend that you use a nice cloth and just wipe it down. The other thing that I would really recommend is you get a case, because, a case, you can actually take off and you can actually use abrasives or antibacterial soaps to clean it," said Evans.

Another suggestion is to use a Bluetooth device, so you're not putting your phone up to your face. But, the most important advice is to wash your hands well and often.

You should also be careful about where you take your phone, since many of us are known to bring the phone into the bathroom with us, and that certainly isn't the cleanest place.