Monday, January 21, 2013

AT&T Says You Can Get the Flu From Your Phone

Photo: APAPF
AT&T's Chief Medical Information Officer -- Dr. Geeta Nayyar -- has sent out a warning that your cell phone may be a disgusting, germ-laden agent of influenza infection:

"We take our phones everywhere we go, from the gym to the bathroom and then to the dinner table and even to bed. Throughout your day, you inevitably shake hands, touch doorknobs and staircase railings – and then you touch your phone and put it against your face. While being connected is invaluable these days – as we grapple with a flu epidemic, your device can become an infection agent."

What to do?

Keep your phone germ-free, says Dr. Nayyar. Here are some of her tips:

1. Don't test or borrow friends' phones right now. This passes germs.

2. Avoid using your phone on the subway, at the gym, in the restroom or at your local coffee place or salad bar – in particular, don't use it and then rest it on public surfaces. Think of how many people touch these surfaces after touching their noses, mouths – or their own devices – in the course of a day. Eww, right?

3. Sanitize and disinfect your phone several times a day – even if you think it has not been in contact with a sick person. ( AT&T stores carry disinfectant.)

4. Try using a Bluetooth device or other hands-free headset, minimizing your keypad-to-face exposure.

5. There ARE cases though where your device can help you out - helpful Apps include the following – (all run on the AT&T network, of course):

A) FluFACTS Fight the Flu: helps you track flu info in your area; assess symptoms, offers helpful tips to fight the flu or ways to stay flu-free.

B) The CDC's app allows you to track treatment and info

C) iPhone apps from Duane Read, CVS and other chain drugstores throughout NYC have apps to track locations nearby and on-hand supplies of shots.

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.

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