Home Gesundheit Ihre Tastatur enthält möglicherweise mehr Bakterien als Ihr Toilettensitz

Ihre Tastatur enthält möglicherweise mehr Bakterien als Ihr Toilettensitz

von NFI Redaktion

On February 13, 2024, a disturbing fact emerged: your keyboard may harbor more bacteria than your toilet seat when it comes to the most germ-infested objects.

„The concentrations and diversity of bacteria on a keyboard surface are ‚worrisome,'“ said Josh Gordon, who specializes in the intersection of health and the digital world at Geonode, an online data management service.

„We’re talking E coli, staphylococci, streptococci, to name just a few,“ he said.

The heat from our fingers on the keyboard, along with everything from skin cells to food crumbs, creates a „fertile breeding ground“ for harmful bacteria, explained Gordon.

„Keyboard hygiene is no longer an afterthought, but a necessity,“ he said. „It’s about consciously creating a safer and healthier digital environment for all of us.“

However, keyboards are not the sole culprits of this problem. Harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi have been accompanying us since the beginning of humanity. And they can be deadly: one study estimated that nearly 8 million deaths worldwide in 2019 were attributed to common bacterial pathogens.

Dana Hawkinson, MD, Director of Infection Prevention and Control at the University of Kansas Health System, referred to these microorganisms as „intransigent foes“ that can thrive almost anywhere. They are present on countless surfaces that we constantly touch throughout the day – such as doorknobs, ATMs, countertops, and public transportation.

„[What is not clear is] what is the actual incidence of diseases from these sources compared to bacteria that occur on and in our bodies?“ he said. „Just touching or coming into contact with the bacteria does not automatically lead to illness in the vast majority of people; our skin provides an excellent barrier against invasive diseases from these bacteria.“

People in certain professions that frequently use technical devices may be at even higher risk of bacterial infections. For example, nurses often use computer keyboards constantly during their 12-hour shifts to input patient data. Many nurses understand how many microorganisms can end up on their keyboards while they are at their desks, said Esther Karioki, RN, who manages a nursing home in Kansas.

„Most [nurses] will come and wipe the nurse’s station, wipe the desk, before they put their purse there,“ she said. „But of course, I leave that computer, and somebody else comes and uses that computer. Hand hygiene isn’t the same for everyone.“

Frequent use of chemical disinfectants on hardware such as computers is often discouraged due to the risk of device damage. Using keyboard covers – often made of plastic or silicone – is a great way for nurses to disinfect and sanitize their computer stations without constantly damaging their devices, said Karioki.

Additional safety tips from Gordon: Avoid eating at the computer. Food debris that falls between computer keys can harbor bacteria. Also, frequently clean your keyboard. Use a compressed air duster to blow away dust and dirt. Then use disinfectant wipes to polish the area.

According to Hawkinson, good hand hygiene is not only responsible for keeping your home and workspaces clean, but is also one of the best ways to reduce the risk of harmful bacterial diseases. This includes frequent handwashing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

„Hand hygiene after using the restroom, before eating, after being in public places like the gym or store where you have touched frequently touched surfaces, and at other times throughout the day is the best way to stay healthy,“ he said. „Also, remember not to touch your hands to your eyes, nose, and mouth, as this can be a major entry point into our bodies, especially for respiratory viruses.“

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