A recent study by the University of Arizona has discovered that computer keyboards can house more germs than toilet seats with 25% carrying the deadly superbug MRSA- one of a number of hospital-acquired infections which kill 5,000 people each year in the UK alone.
Microbiologists found an average of 3,300 microbes per square inch on our keyboards and 1,700 per square inch on a mouse, which is compared to just 49 microbes on a toilet seat!
With the increasing use of computers in the health profession there is a worry that an increase in hospital infections could be imminent as keyboards can act as ‘superhighways’ for bacteria and viruses, transferring them to our hands and vice-versa, possibly making us ill through infection and transferring the microbes to other people and surfaces.
However, Medical Keyboards are helping in the battle against the superbugs. Manufactured with flatter keys and built in one-piece out of silicone rubber and polycarbonate, they offer little hiding places for germs.
As they are sealed in bacteria resistant silicone they minimize the transfer of germs and as many medical keyboards are made to IP65 standard they are dust resistant and waterproof, withstanding the most rigorous of cleaning – allowing for easy disinfecting and sterilization. They are ideal for working environments such as: Hospitals, Dentist, Pharmaceutical companies and food manufacturing plants where it is essential for a clean bacteria free environment.
And medical experts suggest that these types of keyboards could make a big difference in the fight against MRSA.
Mark Enright, a leading researcher on superbugs from Imperial College London, was reported as saying:
“What we have to do is try to interrupt the transmission of MRSA, which is mainly by touch.
“Things like keyboards are being rolled out into the NHS – if we can stop transmission of MRSA and other organisms from keyboard touching – that would help. It’s obviously going to be a positive step.”
Medical keyboards come with a choice of standard touch-pads and ‘joystick’-style controllers for the mouse pointer. However, the company is now supplying a silicone mouse which is made from the same bacteria resistant silicone rubber and polycarbonate.
Some manufacturers also produce a flexible silicone-based keyboard which provide the same medical protection but has the ability to roll up or fold away for easy storage and travelling.