Germs on Keyboards
More doctors are switching to electronic patient records. The bacteria on hospital keyboards are becoming a problem. Many people could potentially use the same computer and then transmit the bacteria to patients. Hospital patients may be more likely to become seriously ill from bacteria transmitted from computers and health care workers’ hands. Researchers found that a good way to prevent the transmission of infection is for health care workers to wash their hands and to have computer keyboards disinfected on a regular basis.
Keeping Your Computer Keyboard Clean
There are bacteria all around us and most of them will not make us sick. Having some bacteria on your keyboard will not necessarily hurt you. Washing your hands before and after using your keyboard is a good idea. For everyday hand washing, regular soap and water are effective to kill bacteria.
Keyboards and Bacteria
Research shows that keyboards can have high levels of bacteria on them. Shared keyboards tend to have more bacteria on them. Researchers also found that the average desktop has many times more bacteria than the average toilet seat.
Although many of these bacteria won’t hurt you unless your immune system is weak because of another illness, it could still cause an infection in you have a cut on your fingers (even a tiny one you can’t see). It is still wise to be careful, especially if you are sharing a computer with other people.
A good precaution is to wash your hands before and after using a shared computer, telephone or other equipment and to encourage others to do the same. It is not a good idea, either, to eat at your computer, especially if you share it with others.