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Hold that phone

Don't take that call just yet. Researchers in Turkey who tested the cellular phones of 200 doctors and nurses in hospital intensive care units and operating rooms report that 95 percent of them carried at least one dangerous bacteria. Some 35 percent contained two bacterial strains, and more than 11 percent had three or more. And that's in a population that prizes hand-washing.

Writing in Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials, the Turkish specialists in anesthesiology, infectious disease and microbiology from Ondokuz Mayis University noted, "These mobile phones could act as a reservoir of infection which may facilitate patient-to-patient transmission of bacteria in a hospital setting."

Significantly, 12 percent of the cell phones tested positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which accounts for 19,000 deaths per year in the United States and is thought to be responsible for 60 percent of hospital-acquired infections.

Ringtones, anyone? Can you hum I Wanna Hold Your Hand?

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