Electronic-human interfaces such as keyboards, ATM machines, and airport kiosks present special contamination problems. Microbial counts on computer keyboards can be more than 60 times higher than on toilet seats, averaging 3,300 bacteria per square inch. Public surfaces such as those of ATM machines present even greater possibilities for the product damaging microorganisms.
Office computer keyboards could be filthier than toilet seats and cause serious diseases, according to a British microbiologist.
Tests were conducted on 33 office keyboards and compared with swabs from a toilet seat and a door handle in a public toilet. It was found that the keyboards contained dangerous levels of killer bacteria such as E.coli and S.aureus. E.coli causes diarrhoea, stomach cramps and fever, while S.aureus causes skin infections such as pimples, boils and abscesses.
Two keyboards had dangerous levels of coliform bacteria that are found in faeces and cause gastroenteritis. One keyboard was five times dirtier than the toilet seat and home to 150 times the acceptable limit of bacteria. "(It) was increasing the risk of its user becoming ill," said the micro- biologist, James Francis.
"The common causes of contamination are the user's poor personal hygiene, particularly failing to wash hands properly after eating, sneezing or coughing or using the toilet," says Dr SK Sarin of GB Pant Hospital.
Bacteria are also found on shared surfaces such as desks. "The best protection is washing hands with soap and water, especially before eating, and avoid touching the face and mouth," says Dr Shiv Lal, director, National Institute of Communicable Diseases.Source : MSN