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"Mobile Phone Hygiene" With Dr Lotti Tajouri

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Megan Walker: Hello and welcome to Market Savvy Conversations. My name is Megan Walker, and our very special guest today is Dr Tajouri, who is an amazing researcher that I came across in an article created by the RACGP. Hello, how are you, Lotti?

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Good afternoon, Megan.

Megan Walker: Nice to see you. Your research really piqued my interest, because I thought, "Hey, this is something that we've all got in our handbags, in our pockets, and it could be causing more harm than good." Tell us a bit about your research and your background, and some of the work that you do.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Well, I'm a French citizen and Australian citizen. I am an Associate Professor at Bond University in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Basically, I've been interested in many types of research, especially around genomics, molecular biology.

The latest type of research that I'm doing is, indeed, to look at what is on mobile phones. What I'm saying about, on mobile phones, I'm looking at microorganisms, so from fungi, protozoa, to viruses and bacteria.

I'm quite interested in that for a particular reason. I had a personal, let's say, a switch-on of this type of research, when my wife was actually initially pregnant and gave birth to my daughter. I was at the hospital, in the surgery ward, because my wife was in breach. So, we had to go for a caesarian.

I noticed that in the theatre, there were quite a lot of medical doctors, or staff, or healthcare workers, with mobile phones on their hands. I was quite surprised, because some of them had them with gloves on. Because I teach microbiology at Bond University, and immunology, and molecular biology, I was saying, "Oh, there is here a real red-flag issue in terms of infection control."

I started to say to myself, "Well, I think you should do something about it, and do some research on it, and take a scientific angle, and demonstrate that indeed, those mobile phones are fomites, and they should be really, let's say, handled in a different way."

Megan Walker: Yes, absolutely. As a non-clinical person, I can already guess the risks that are posed by a surgical hand in a glove touching a phone, but can you just expand that for anyone who's new to germs? What are some of those risks for, in a surgical environment, touching a phone and then touching a patient?

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Look, infection control in healthcare settings... I will actually extend that to other settings, but let's go back to the healthcare setting. The infection control is paramount, so that the healthcare workers in some way treat patients without transmitting any bugs, any microorganisms towards those immunocompromised individuals.

You know that hospitals, clinics, et cetera, is an area where lots of people are going because of trauma or different types of infections. Their immune system at this particular time is not the best, so you really don't want to get them to be exposed to nasty bugs.

In addition to that, because there are so many individuals going there for whatever reason, obviously health issues, the healthcare settings become like a niche of many, many microorganisms, many germs.

What it means is that you can, even if you are healthy, if you enter a healthcare setting, you can actually contract a disease out there. Because, as I said, there is a huge, dense amount of microorganisms, which span from, as I said, viruses to bacteria.

But on top of that, you have as well, issues with microbes being antibiotic-resistant or antimicrobial-resistant. So, it's really the wrong place to contract a disease. So, it is important for the healthcare workers to handle patients without transmitting, in any way, any of those bugs to those very fragile patients.

Megan Walker: Absolutely. So many of the people listening to this conversation will be working in private practice, so they're GPs, they're allied health, they're specialists. Also, many of those are in and out of hospitals as well. So, would you suggest, or would some of those risks extend to some of those environments, in clinics as well? We need to be just as cautious in a GP clinic as we do in a hospital?

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Absolutely. At the end of the day, what's happening with the mobile phones is, as we say in different publications, they are extensions of our two hands, and I call them "third hand". In addition to that is, lots of us as users never really wash or sanitize our mobile phones, and that third hand becomes a problem, because we know that we touch mobile phones thousands of times a day.

It's in between 2,000 and 5,000 times a day, we touch those, and we use them more than three hours and thirty minutes. Even in some countries in South America, they use that... like in Brazil for example... more than five hours a day. It's unbelievable, we are addicted to those devices. The problem, as I said, is we never sanitize them.

The biggest problem we are facing here is that the World Health Organization came up with the hand-washing campaign, which is the greatest thing ever. As their website is stating, we're saving millions of lives by doing hand sanitization, which is great.

The problem with mobile phones as a third hand, which is soiled and filthy, after you wash your hands, you touch your mobile phone. Well, you cross-contaminate yourself all over again, because those platforms harbor all those microbes that I mentioned before.

Yes, the healthcare settings could be extended to, obviously, any kind of clinics. Even the dentists' practices, even the GP practices, because with our hands, in our surrounding, we touch as well so many different platforms.

If I take my pen right now, if I take a cup, or if I touch the door knob, what will happen is that I would transmit microbes on my fingers. As I said before, we touch our mobile phones all the time, so whatever microbes I picked in my surrounding will end up on the mobile phones. That is bad.

Megan Walker: Wow.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Because mobile phones are very, very special platforms. They're not the same contaminated platforms of our surrounding, because mobile phones are platforms that we can switch on. So, they got the temperature-control system that allows microbes to thrive. We condense all those microbes in that little platform, the mobile phone there, so all condensed in this.

The other thing is, we eat a lot with our mobile phones. You might have had your breakfast this morning with your mobile phone, while you might have a piece of bread or whatever, egg Benedict, you had this morning, to end up... so it might be a little debris, but for the microbes, it's a huge opportunity to feed-

Megan Walker: Wow.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: ... themselves from, and what will happen here is that just by eating with your mobile phone, you give nutrients to those microbes. They are able then to replicate and multiply, and so on. So the platforms, as mobile phones, are breeding grounds for all sorts of microbes. In addition to that, we don't sanitize those particular platforms, so there is this unbelievable amount of microbes.

The last point is, when you talk over your mobile phone for communication, you spit out micro-droplets, so there is a bit of saliva there, which by the way, you contribute to the enormous amount of deposition of new microbes, from viruses to bacteria, that came from your oral cavity.

The moisture is actually something that microbes also love, so you give not only a five-star accommodation, a hotel for those microbes, you give a heated spa condition for those microbes. On top of that, as I said, for the nutrients, it's actually a free buffet for all those germs to thrive.

Megan Walker: Wow. The extended buffet is if the phone's in a pocket with a hanky or a tissue, or... Oh gosh.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Absolutely. The matter of the fact is, lots of us actually will believe that the mobile phones are indeed contaminated with microbes. I give you a start, I think around 98% of the healthcare workers we've been serving really believe those platforms do have microbes. But, we don't sanitize them. That's worrisome, especially with the fact that, indeed, those mobile phones are mobile Petri dishes.

Megan Walker: Yes. Okay. My Wordle over breakfast with my husband is now finished, what else do we need to do with these devices to protect ourselves, and our patients and clients? What's your recommendation?

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Well, I would emphasise the risk before going towards any advice of what to do. The risk is extended to the fact that we, indeed, found bacteria as a very large amount. Our last publication found more than 4,000 bacteria in only 26 mobile phones. So, coming from healthcare setting, it was actually swabs taken from the pediatric intensive care unit. So, you understand that here-

Megan Walker: Yeah.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: ... we've got a lot of immunocompromised babies around, so it's a very huge issue. On top of that, we also found tremendous amounts of signatures of antibiotic-resistant genes.

Megan Walker: Wow.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: We found more than 560 antibiotic-resistant genes in those platforms. So, you have here a platform that is capable, actually, to harbor superbugs. The superbugs is a big issue, because it means that if you get to contract one of those infections coming from those superbugs, you've got no possibility, let's say, for the practitioners to treat you, because those bugs are indeed resistant to those antimicrobial drugs.

So, it becomes a huge issue. You put that on top of that, to immunocompromised individuals, you can understand that the chances are very narrow in terms of outcome and prognosis. So, the matter of the fact is, those mobile phones are a risk. They are circulating in billions around the world. They are in different professional settings.

The healthcare setting is a huge red flag, as I said, because that would transmit in some way, bugs from the mobile phones to the hands. Obviously, nurses and doctors have a physical contact with the patients, so here is the risk. As I said, those bug not only are breeding on those platforms, but they are also superbugs.

So, yes, mobile phones are issue. They negate hand-washing, which is another issue of the mobile phone, because they are Trojan horse that we don't really think too much about. However, they negate hand-washing, which has obviously the consequences, again, back to the patients.

So, lots of problems, and indeed, the best way forward is... and this is what we are trying to do with all publications, we're taking a scientific angle to lead towards a huge awareness. The awareness is multiple.

It's not only for the community. Of course the community is important, and they need to understand that they have to clean their phones. By the way, for one big, big reason, again, which is that many of us actually use mobile phones in toilets.

Megan Walker: Ugh, I was waiting for you to bring this up.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: The people like you and I... I completely stopped doing that. Since I actually knew about what is on the surface of mobile phones, I absolutely don't use mobile phones in the toilet. I'll tell you why, by the way. We found, in the last publication, and many other ones anyway, E. coli, at 61% of all the mobile phones were contaminated with E. coli.

We had all sorts of enterococci, faecalis, faecium. We have Clostridium, difficile in those. We have Campylobacter, we have salmonella. So, all sorts of... by the way, viable... all sorts of bugs that will give you a very strong infection. If you had fecal-oral routes, so you touch your mobile phone, you touch your face probably 20 to 25 times an hour without ever you knowing about it.

So, you touch your mouth, your nose, or your eyes. That will be enough for an entry of those bugs. So you can self-inoculate yourself. Obviously, self-inoculation will give you the disease, but if you touch other people that are immunocompromised, the consequences are massive.

So, don't use... that's one of the solutions, don't use your mobile phones anymore in the toilets. Healthcare workers, with all those research we did, probably 50% of them, approximately 50% of them, admit that they use their mobile phones in toilets, which is absolutely not the way to go.

Megan Walker: No.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: But again, it's not really their fault, because as I said, mobile phones are a Trojan horse. We are here to tell that, be careful now, that third hand. That digital electronic device is a third hand that we need to sanitize, on top of our two other hands.

Megan Walker: Yes.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: The solution is what? Indeed, sanitization, and the sanitization, there are many ways to do it. Some are suboptimal. If you take like a clean felt cloth, you are not going to do much.

Megan Walker: Right.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: You are going to simply get rid of some debris around it, but you will not remove the microbes that are actually attached to the surface of your mobile phone. So it's a false security, if you just wipe it off like that.

Megan Walker: Right.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: If you use alcohol type of wipes, you have to be careful with this. First, some bugs actually can be resistant to alcohol. That's one way. The second problem is that when you use smartphones like that, if you wipe off the surface of the mobile phone, what will happen is that there is a layer right on the surface of it, which is oleophobic layer.

What it means is, when you take the alcohol wipe, you will wipe it off as well. So, you are not going to be able to have that kind of tactile experience that you have on smartphone. What does it mean? I open a bracket. I lost one phone like that, because I thought it was a solution. Unfortunately, it was not anymore responsive.

So, I don't think anybody would like to lose their phones by cleaning it this way. The third way is actually to look at using ultraviolet-C phone sanitizers. Some of them work really well, some of them don't work at all. There are many in the industry selling it.

So, obviously, that will provide a lot of profits, especially with this type of research showing that they are harboring lots of microbes. There are commercially available UV-C phone sanitizers, and there are industrial-grade UV-C phone sanitizers, although industrial ones that are going through a lot of certifications are really working extremely well.

We're talking with some companies now from the US and Canada, especially one in Canada, where their UV-C based phone sanitization can do the job in 10 seconds. All certified. This is very interesting, especially for us, because we do the research, we give the awareness of the issue, but we want to seek for a solution, obviously.

Megan Walker: Absolutely

Dr Lotti Tajouri: So, when we look at this type of solution, it becomes very practical in the field to use those phone sanitizers. For one reason. If you take, for example, healthcare worker, let's say a doctor or nurse, the person will wash hands all the time. Obviously, this is part of the infection control. Hand wash is around 20 to 40 seconds kind of job.

If you wash your hand, and the same time, you actually slid your phone in a UV-C phone sanitization, which will last 10 seconds, guess what will happen? Hand number one, hand number two, and hand number three, which is the phone, will be sanitized in a simultaneous way.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: So, you will end up having a perfect compliance adoption in the healthcare setting. There is a lot of hospitals around here, in our area, that are very seduced by this type of infection-control solution.

Megan Walker: Absolutely. Wow. Do you think that that... I'm asking you to forward-think, but would that end up in the domestic setting, that we get-

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Completely.

Megan Walker: Yeah?

Dr Lotti Tajouri: This is back to your questions before, like if it could be an issue in other sectors. I give you a good example. Look, we always, every year, hear about... oh, COVID was there, but probably before that-

Megan Walker: Yeah.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: ... we always hear about an outbreak in a boat cruise. There is an outbreak of this particular norovirus, or this particular type of bacteria that leads to gastroenteritis, et cetera. We hear that all the time. Now, take that example, imagine a passenger, like-

Megan Walker: Yes.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: ... me, for example, having a huge gastro. I don't really say it, but I go to the toilet. I use my mobile phone in the toilet, like many of us do, and I wash my hands. Okay, fair enough. I wash my hands after using the toilet. However, I use that in the toilet. It can be cross-contaminated. Like, when you flush, you can have a plume effect where a bit of fecal material end up going in the surrounding, end up going in your mobile phone.

Megan Walker: Wow.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: You washed your hands, you think you did the right thing. Now, you touch it. "Oh, it's time. Oh, I just noticed that it's time for the lunch." I go to the floor of the boat cruise, where there is the buffet where everybody can actually go to. Guess what's going to happen?

Well, I touch my mobile phone, which is actually contaminated, I take a bit of salmon here, a bit of pizza there, I touch my surrounding. What's going to happen? You might have here a domino effect where someone behind me touched the surface, and you end up having not one person with a gastro, but a second and third, three, four, five.

Because, the cruise is going ahead. It takes probably days to travel. You've got this cross-contamination. That is one big issue. I'm trying to approach the boat cruises. Of course, I need some funding. By the way, this is something I really need to do.

Megan Walker: Yeah. I was going to ask how we can help you.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Oh, funding is... We have top publications, we're on top of the field here. We've been using an incredible ability to look at a signature of all the bugs. We look at, as I said, protozoa, fungi, bacteria, viruses, all the signatures, by using what is called next-generation sequencing, metagenomic profiling.

So, we can have a full map of what is on the mobile phone. However, all of that is costing, and yes, we desperately need funding. I'm going to tell you another sector that we try as well to work with, are the airports, for example.

Megan Walker: I was just going to say, please be airports.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Yeah, the airports. I might be a little bit, let's say, a bit negative towards what we're doing in airports in terms of biosecurity control, and I give you probably... examples talk by themselves. Myself, when I travel from France to Australia, for example, the first thing I'm told is, "Do you have any..." I don't know, sandwich or cheese, or something along those lines.

Yes, you obviously say, "Yeah, I got a sandwich there." You show that to the biosecurity officer. The first thing is, "Sorry, mate, but you would not be able to take that sandwich in Australia. It goes straight to the bin." I really respect that. I think it's fantastic, because you definitely don't know what you bring in and you have a consequence, obviously, in this beautiful country, with the fauna or all the plants, and so on. So, completely understand that.

Megan Walker: Sure.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: However, did you have any time, a biosecurity officer stopping you because of your mobile phone? Never.

Megan Walker: No, never.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: If I say to you that your mobile phone is a mobile Petri dish... because our publications really are very, very straightforward, this is a huge amount of viable bugs that can stay on those platforms not only for hours, not only for days, they can even stay for weeks and for months on those platforms. So, it's not a trip of 14 hours or 16 hours from, let's say, Europe to Australia that is going to kill them. They are still on the mobile phone.

Megan Walker: Wow.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Would you have any biosecurity officer stopping you for your mobile phone? No. Do the same thing now, if you have a real Petri dish and you showed that to the biosecurity officer, he will stop you straight away. The mobile phone is exactly that, and this is where there is a gap. So, we are talking a lot right now... we're talking a lot about biosecurity issues. You know, you heard about the foot, hand, mouth disease-

Megan Walker: Yes!

Dr Lotti Tajouri: The swine virus, the monkey virus. We talk about all of this. Never do we actually think that people that cross borders have probably those particular type of microorganisms on their mobile phone. I can tell you, we found herpes viruses on mobile phones.

There was one mobile phone from a healthcare worker that had five different herpes viruses, herpes simplex 1, the Reseola virus 6, the virus 7, the Epstein-Barr virus, the cytomegalovirus. It's an example. We found all the type of viruses, like human papillomavirus, 29 strains on 26 mobile phones, with a number of hits which was quite unbelievable.

Some were pathogenics, were giving you all sorts of papillomavirus type of warts. You had even viruses that lead you to cancer. We had the Merkel cell polyomavirus, which is responsible for Merkel cell carcinoma, which is a rare cancer. However, the aggressivity of this cancer is unbelievable. The case fatality rate is 40%.

Megan Walker: Oh, wow.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Even, I think, 45%. So, it's very unbelievable that those particular platforms are still nowadays, in 2022, a Trojan horse. We really... and this is where the awareness is going to, is we're trying so much to get the attention of the health authorities, of the top health authorities nationally and internationally.

Including the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, including the World Health Organization, and the local and the national authorities here in Australia. However, we don't really have a lot of, let's say, reaction, and 'reaction' for me is actually a bad word. I really hate reaction. I like action.

Megan Walker: Yes, and prevention.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Absolutely. That is primary prevention at its best. I'm talking about billions of mobile phones. What we found in some healthcare settings around the region here applies to all healthcare settings in Australia, to all healthcare settings in the world, to all airports, to all boat cruises, to all those kinds of public areas as well.

Finding more than 11,000 microbes in only 26 mobile phones, with the last publication, imagine the amount of bugs that are, let's say, in Australia. I think in Australia, there is probably 1,300-plus hospitals, including public and private. So, if we find in 26 mobile phones, more than 11,000 microbes, which is probably around 400-ish per mobile phone.

You multiply that by, I don't know, 600,000 healthcare workers in Australia. You end up probably with 250 millions microbes right now, as a snapshot, a little bit more than that. Right now, as a snapshot, any healthcare worker in Australia, the total amount of bugs on their mobile phones would be 250 millions-plus microbes.

Megan Walker: Wow.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Which is unbelievable.

Megan Walker: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: So, is it that we need to do something about it? Yes, sanitization. There are some industries right now that are desperate. Of course, they want to do business, but at the end of the day, the future for primary prevention in infection control is technology-driven.

Megan Walker: Yeah. Okay.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: So, if we can integrate those, those systems in our hospitals, in our public bathrooms, in the airports, while it might not solutionize everything, but we will reduce the burden. I'm going to give you another example of how we could save some money. I said before that mobile phones negate hand-washing.

It's a big statement because, as I said, the World Health Organization is spending millions of dollars to make that compliance, obviously to all of us. But when you think about it, when you hand wash, which is going to be negated by the mobile phone, when you hand wash, you use around 2.2 liters of water.

Megan Walker: Oh yes.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: You spend, as I said, between 20 to 40 seconds washing your hands and rinsing your hand, and then obviously using some paper towel. So, all of that water, the time-

Megan Walker: Detergent.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: The wipes. All of this has a huge cost.

Megan Walker: Yeah.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: If you take a healthcare worker, for example, and applying the five moments of hand-washing. Treating, let's say, five individuals an hour, it means that 600,000 healthcare workers being compliant to hand-washing, you losing here, 40... whatever... 7 billion liters of water just in Australia.

Megan Walker: Wow.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: If I say to you, mobile phones, full of microbes, third-hand Trojan horse, negating hand-washing, it means that all the efforts that the World Health Organization is asking us to do is wasted.

Megan Walker: When we touch our phone.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: We paid millions of dollars, millions of dollars, for staff to actually only wash their hands. If you look at the amount of shifts that are associated with only us washing our hands, let's say after five patients per hour, and using 40 seconds of our time doing that, you're talking about millions-of-dollar shifts, all of that wasted.

What we need to do is stop wasting what the World Health Organization is telling us to do, because this is the right way to obviously break down the infection issues and the spread of bugs, by sanitizing, indeed, mobile phones.

Megan Walker: Wow. Just repeat again, the device that you are suggesting will be potentially the optimum way of sanitizing the phone. Just repeat that again. What's the device?

Dr Lotti Tajouri: This is a ultraviolet-C phone sanitization. What does it mean, with ultraviolet-C, is that the ultraviolet-C is part of particular wave lengths which is under the normal vision that we have. We see the things between 400 and 700 nanometers, and below that, there are the ultraviolet. It's a range between 100 and 400 nanometers.

In that span of ultraviolet, there are three types of ultraviolet. There is the A, the B, and the C, which is by the way, what the sun is radiating, but there is the ozone layer, the ozone layer stops the UV-C. If you take that UV-C artificially, and you use it in a platform which is enclosed, what the UV-C does, it is extremely germicidal. What does it mean? 'Cidal' means to kill. 'Germ', germ.

So, you kill germs with this particular emission of the UV-C. Now, there are some industrial-based phone sanitization using ultraviolet-C in enclosed platform. What does it mean? Is you are not in contact whatsoever with the emission of that UV-C. All what you need to do, so imagine that my hand is a particular... There is all that sound around me, sorry.

Megan Walker: Okay.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Imagine you have your phone sanitizer, which has a slit. All what you need to do is to actually get your mobile phone, it will go in, and being actually sanitized by the ultraviolet-C. It will take only 10 seconds of the time.

Megan Walker: Wow.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Your two hands are sanitized, and your third hand is sanitized as well.

Megan Walker: Can you put human hands under ultraviolet-C?

Dr Lotti Tajouri: No, you cannot do.

Megan Walker: No.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: The device will stop from functioning.

Megan Walker: Right.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: It will be only the device.

Megan Walker: Device. Ah, I was going to say we could save all that water as well, but that's a conversation for another day.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Oh, there are actually... the water is sterilized by ultraviolet-C as well.

Megan Walker: Yeah. Okay. Ah, wonderful. All right. Well, amazing. When I saw your article, I thought, "Oh, look!" I'm in the world of healthcare marketing and health promotions, but when I saw it, I just went, "This is a message that we, obviously, desperately need to share." What's the next steps in your research journey? If a clinician, practitioner, therapist is listening, where can they go to follow what you're doing and learn more?

Dr Lotti Tajouri: As you mentioned before, we are backed up by the Royal Australian College of GPs, and there is a study that we want to do at the GP clinics. That's one of the... The other thing I would like to do is to have a similar type of research in dentists' practices, as well as airports. I think this is very important.

For me, the limiting factor I have... and if there is any of your listeners, or readers, or members that can help us fundraising, or giving us some support in that respect, it's one thing that will make the things go forward.

The second thing as well, that is going to be quite important, is to have that link to talk with the public health authorities. So, whoever has connections above, so that it can facilitate a conversation between our team and them, that will be absolutely amazing.

Obviously, we're taking the scientific angle, so they are all published in peer international-reviewed journals, scientific one of course, and yes indeed, that will help quite a lot.

Megan Walker: Beautiful. Okay. Public health decision-makers. Wonderful. All right. That's amazing. Dr Tajouri, thank you so much. Was there anything that you wanted me to ask you that I haven't? Any other points? Oh, I know what I was going to ask you. In the meantime, while we're waiting for UV-C to get in our hands, what's better than what we are doing now? Get rid of hankies and tissues?

Dr Lotti Tajouri: I didn't probably grasp your question. Can you just repeat it?

Megan Walker: Oh yes, of course. What are some better things we can be doing while we're waiting for UV-C to become available? What are some better practices with our phones in the meantime?

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Actually, they are already available.

Megan Walker: Okay.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: It's just a matter, actually, to buy those. I'm trying to connect with some of those companies to give me free samples, because obviously research-wise, we don't have lots, as I said, money.

Megan Walker: Yes.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: So, we're trying to seduce them to let us use their system so that we can compare them. This is one publication I'm trying to finalize now, we've been using three different companies' UV-C phone sanitizer, and we compare those.

Of course, some of those companies don't really like that because they're afraid that their systems are suboptimal. We found two of those companies that it's not working. A third company works beautifully, which is by the way, the one that I told you about from Canada. So, yes, those are available.

Right now, what we should be doing is to, as I said, first of all, don't use mobile phones in toilets. Second is to understand that they are actually platforms for bugs, and probably don't give it to your... I don't know... daughter or toddler to play with.

Because, if they lick through your mobile phone, then previously it's been used in toilets or have never been sanitized... which is the case for many... you might actually get that kind of entry of bugs to your loved ones.

Thirdly is, indeed, when you think you are going to touch something important, wash your hands, because you've been just touching your mobile phone. I really will not advise to clean this with alcohol. If you want to lose your mobile phone at one stage, why not? But, yeah, be careful in doing so.

Megan Walker: Yes. Wonderful. Oh, thank you so much for your time today. It's been so wonderful-

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Thank you.

Megan Walker: ... talking to you, and we'll put your contact details where people are watching the video, if they want to get in touch, and certainly direct any public health decision-makers, I'm thinking Telstra Health, anyone who's got a checkbook handy, we want to send them to Dr. Tajouri's direction.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: That's great. Even if people have connections with airports and obviously-

Megan Walker: Yeah.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: ... those authorities, we are absolutely willing to do those experiments, and we can share the data, obviously, with them so that we have the best biosecurity type of prevention, and same for the healthcare system, and same for the public spaces.

Megan Walker: Wonderful. Let's all go and wash our hands now. Thanks again so much for your time. Bye now.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Thank you.

Megan Walker: Bye.

Dr Lotti Tajouri: Bye bye. 


Links and further information

 Dr Lotti Tajouri is an Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University. Contact here or via LinkedIn.

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