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Top 10 Germs on Your Smartphone


6
Coagulase Negative Staphylococci (CoNS)
Health care workers have to be extra-careful with washing as hosptials are a breeding ground for many bacteria. Coagulase Negative Staphylococci is responsible for 30 percent of health care-related blood infections. It's also present on cell phones. © Stephanie Pilick/dpa/Corbis
Health care workers have to be extra-careful with washing as hosptials are a breeding ground for many bacteria. Coagulase Negative Staphylococci is responsible for 30 percent of health care-related blood infections. It's also present on cell phones. © Stephanie Pilick/dpa/Corbis

Try saying this one five times fast. A species of staphylococcus, Coagulase Negative Staphylococci (CoNS) is antibiotic-resistant and usually resides in human skin and the vaginal tract. While generally less harmful than Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria are a common cause of bloodstream infections, including those resulting from contact with hospital surfaces and medical devices. CoNS has been found responsible for up to 30 percent of health care-related blood infections [source: CDDEP].

The bacteria are also prowling around smartphones and other devices. In 2011, a group of university researchers from Ghana swabbed the surfaces of mobile phones from 100 randomly selected students. Fifteen percent of those devices tested positive for CoNS [source: Tagoe et al.].