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Keyboard germs could lead to cold and flu cases

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Office workers could be at risk from germs and bacteria lurking on their keyboards and work stations, especially as the cold and flu season begins.

A new study by Viking collected swabs from hundreds of office workers taken from their office equipment across the country for analysis and found poor hygiene levels.

Two-thirds of keyboards were found to be harbouring germs with some even having mould growing underneath them.

The worst offenders were computer workers, lawyers and accountants for unhygienic work stations, though social workers were more likely to have mouldy food present on their desks.

Pressure at work means more people are not leaving their desks to take a lunch break, meaning pieces of food and debris can easily spill over onto equipment.

A further two-thirds of respondents admitted to eating food at their desks and not cleaning up afterwards.

Recently a survey by Scottish Widows found companies put more importance on office equipment than staff.

Dr Lisa Ackerley, a chartered environmental health practitioner, said: “Keeping equipment such as keyboards, phones and desks as germ- free as possible is even more important during the cold and flu season.”