As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK hits 164, many of us are rightly seeking to follow the best measures in an attempt to stay safe.
Masks are becoming a common sight and shops are reported to running on low on stock, but the World Health Organisation, Public Health England and the NHS all stress there is no evidence that the masks are effective.
One expert has also said there is ‘ little evidence’ the masks will help protect , and are better worn by those who already have the virus to prevent it spreading.
The government has advised that one of the best ways to protect yourself is to regularly wash your hands with warm water and soap, spending at least 20 seconds at the sink.
But all that could be undone if you’re in the habit of taking your phone to the toilet with you to scroll through social media as you’re doing your business.
That’s because the bacteria you transfer onto your phone screen from toilets that many other people may have used before you will go straight back to your hands when you use your phone again – making your 20 seconds of scrubbing as you sing happy birthday twice through pointless.
The virus can survive for between two and nine hours on surfaces like metal, glass and plastic.
Professor William Keevil, from the University of Southampton, said: “You could be washing your hands, but if you start touching your smartphone screen and then touch your face, that is a potential route of infection,” as reported by the Metro .
According to Dr Perpetua Emeagi, a lecturer in Human Biology and Biological Sciences at Liverpool Hope University, studies have shown there are up to 17,000 bacterial stains on the average phone.
To put that into perspective, that’s 10 times more than a toilet seat itself.
A survey by JellyBean has also found that 54 per cent of Brits admit to having taken their phone to the toilet with them.
So, the simple answer is to keep your phone away from the throne.