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Top 10 Germs on Your Smartphone


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Clostridium Difficile
Dr. Christine Lee, an infectious disease physician, poses in a lab at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario. Dr. Lee has performed 100 stool transplants that cure patients hit by  Clostridium difficile. © MIKE CASSESE/Reuters/Corbis
Dr. Christine Lee, an infectious disease physician, poses in a lab at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario. Dr. Lee has performed 100 stool transplants that cure patients hit by Clostridium difficile. © MIKE CASSESE/Reuters/Corbis

Clostridium difficile is a fancy, scientific way of saying "the stuff that causes diarrhea." Patients who are elderly or have been using antibiotics for extended periods of time are especially susceptible to this form of the runs [sources: National Library of Medicine, Murphy]. At least now you know that the toilet seat that you'll be spending the foreseeable future on is probably pretty darn clean.

C. difficile is also known to cause other conditions, like fever, nausea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. The bacteria often spread in hospitals. An infection is unlikely to occur in healthy people, but cleaning your phone every once in a while is a good idea. Apple advises against using solvents to clean its gadgets, saying just to wipe them with a soft cloth. Other tech experts use a solution of isopropyl alcohol and distilled water, sprayed on a soft cloth for wiping [sources: National Library of Medicine, Murphy].