Ballybofey-based social media specialist April McManus of Loco Media shares her guide to disinfecting your phone to prevent coronavirus spread

As the number of coronavirus cases rises steadily, the public is being urged to keep their smartphone screens clean to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Health professionals are warning that, even if you’re regularly washing your hands, touching your smartphone and subsequently your face is a potential route of infection.

Donegal-based social media specialist April McManus of Loco Media has issued a set of guidelines, which people can follow.

“We often forget how much bacteria our mobile phones can harbour,” April says.

“In fact, it’s believed our smartphones carry seven times more germs and bacteria than a toilet seat.

“It is important to know most smartphones can be damaged by harsh chemicals and even regular household window and glass cleaners, so these are never recommended.”

April advises ‘giving the screen a ‘thorough wipe down and don’t forget to spend a little time cleaning around the volume, power and earphone and charger ports.’

She says: “You can use a cotton bud to get around these areas a little easier, Never submerge your device in a cleaning product and be careful to avoid getting moisture in any openings, like the charging port.”

Germs can be carried on mobile devices for up to nine days, meaning the cleaning of the devices is important. April advises to have a cleaning routine twice a day – using lunchtime and dinner time as possible reminders.

“In addition to cleaning the device properly, there are other things you can do,” April says:

“1. Buy a protective case that closes over the screen of your device to prevent it from being constantly exposed.

2. Use ear phones when taking phone calls, stopping you from touching your face with the device screen.

3. Keep your phone out of your hands when not in use.”