Your phone, purse and shoes: Three items most likely to make you sick this cold and flu season

Do not bring your phone into bathrooms
Your phone could be making you sick
Posted at 2:28 AM, Oct 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-10 06:51:26-04

It's that time of year again. People are coughing and sneezing. Germs are flying everywhere.

However, the biggest threat to staying healthly may be three everyday ordinary items you carry with you everyday:

Smartphone: First of all, do not bring your phone into the bathroom. I know, we all do it. But toilets are gross and even worse can leave very unhealthy bacteria on your device.

"I would not recommend the combination of those two," says Dr. Burt Anderson of USF Health's Morsani College of Medicine.

Phones are teeming with germs, so gently disinfect them with anti-bacterial wipes when you can. Also, remember to wash your hands before you leave the bathroom.

Purse or backpack: Do not place your purse or backpack or "murse" on a restroom floor and then come home and drop it on the kitchen table or countertop.

Think about this, do you want to be eating what ended up spilled next to the toilet or was on the bottom of someone's shoes? Gross!

Shoes: Speaking on footwear, here is your nerdy science lesson for the day. A "mechanical vector" is something that carries pathogens like bacteria or a virus from one place to another. Your purse is one. Your shoes are another.

Footwear can be a nightmare for carrying dirt from outside. You know this. Yet most of us walk all over our carpets at home anyway in our work shoes.

Shoes are especially susceptible to carrying C. difficile (a.k.a. fecal bacteria) which can make you really, really sick. Be careful where you tread. And wipe your shoes down when you can.