We have all been in a public restroom and listened to someone talking on their cellular phone while sitting on the toilet. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified a 36 year old male who was infected with Hepatitis A after borrowing a phone from someone who had been using it in the bathroom stall.
While the medical community has suspected that infections have already been transmitted from cellular phones being used while on the toilet, this is the first actual recorded case. Various studies have demonstrated that approximately 25% of all cellular phones have fecal contamination on them. Hepatitis A can be spread by transmitted by an infected person not washing their hands after using the bathroom. Even if the infected person washes their hands, the contamination remains on the phone if it has been used in the bathroom.
The CDC recommends against people borrowing phones that have been used in the bathroom. When in doubt, they recommend that you simply ask if the phone has been used while on the toilet. To encourage people to ask the question, as well as stop the spread of phone based infections, the CDC will be airing a series of public service announcements entitled “Do Ask, Do Tell” on television. The CDC also recommends that you send an email to all your co-workers if you discover someone at work using their phone while on the toilet. “We need to stigmatize this unhygienic behavior in the workplace at all costs,” a CDC spokesperson noted.