Fox59 Investigates: Are filthy phones making you sick?

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Our cellphones are one of our most personal belongings, but they could also be a public hazard and make you sick.

FOX59 investigated what all of that swiping and scrolling was doing by choosing random subjects, swabbing their cellphones and sending those tests to the lab.

We even tested the guy who is on his phone nearly 24-hours a day. Colts Punter Pat McAfee takes his phone everywhere, including the bathroom.

"I'm a little nervous for this," said McAfee as FOX59 swabbed his phone. "I try to keep it as flashy as possible. So I never use - I do like the old breath, like old CD’s?"

We sent the tests to HML Labs in Muncie and our results were disgusting. Scientists count every single colony of bacteria and found several phones had unusually high counts of coliform, bacteria found in our intestines or fecal matter. One phone had more than 600 counts of coliform.

“Maybe they're gonna think twice about when they go to the bathroom. You know maybe you could wash your hands once in a while," said Dr. Donald Hendrickson, president of HML Labs.

Dr. Hendrickson said our results prove cellphones can make people sick. Different types of bacteria and viruses can live on our phones and give us the flu, pinkeye and even acne. At worst, those germs can lead to serious complications for patients with low immune systems. And our personal habits and the way we use our phones can contribute to an outbreak.

"The phone is the most common thing we use and we use fingers with it all the time," said Dr. Hendrickson. “You could transmit a disease yeah. It's a very good source of transmission."

Some of our Guinea Pigs also had the staphylococci bacteria, which can lead to Staph infections.

Others, including McAfee's, did not reveal any signs of that bacteria or coliform.

Many people use sanitizing wipes on their phones, but Dr. Hendrickson recommends using something as simple as rubbing alcohol, which often times works the best. Another good cleaning solution is called MonoFoilClean: http://monofoilclean.com/