Preventing the Flu Starts With You

With flu season in full swing, many of us are taking extra precautions to be sure we don’t catch it and to help prevent it from spreading.  Some of the most common precautions include avoiding contamination, washing your hands, and covering your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. Many are even disinfecting surfaces and washing linens more frequently, but there are some things that we often neglect to clean; our electronics.


This is something that many of us use on a daily basis, and possibly even share with others at work or at home. It was shown that wiping down your keyboard with sterile water, alcohol, or commercially packaged disinfectant wipes (such as Clorox or Metrex wipes) were all effective ways of removing or inactivating most of the bacteria on your keyboard [1]. It’s also a good idea to use compressed air to clean between the keys; you might be surprised at what comes out.

Phones, Tablets, and Other Devices with Screens

Generally, it is best to use a microfiber or lint-free cloth to clean your device screens. When necessary, the use of a microfiber cloth that’s been dampened with a drop of water or isopropyl alcohol can be used [2]. Never use ammonia, window cleaners, household cleaners, or abrasives to clean the screen. Note: Apple does not recommend using any liquids to clean their products (including water or alcohol) [3], though it is generally safe to use the methods above, try at your own risk.

Since the flu virus can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours [4], it’s especially important that we take a little bit of time to clean our shared devices. Even if you aren’t sharing your keyboard or phone on a regular basis, it never hurts to shine them up from time to time.


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