Researchers at the Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia have found that keyboards of shared computers are a haven for germs.
The study also found that keyboards that have multiple users contain five times the number of microorganisms as those used by just one user. Almost 50% of keyboards tested had Staphylococcus aureus, which is a harmless bacterium on the surface, but becomes lethal if it enters the body.
High use, multiple user internet cafés and computer labs are potential hot spots for harboring microorganisms," said Professor Enzo Palombo, one of the report's authors. "Given that computers are not routinely disinfected, the potential for transmitting disease is great. Organisations need to be more rigorous in keeping shared equipment clean. Keyboards and other hand contact areas such as a computer mouse should be regularly cleaned and disinfected, especially for multiple-user workstations."
The details of the study appear in the American Journal of Infection Control.