ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – This year’s flu season has been reported to be the worst. To stay clean, many wipe down their work computers, doorknobs, countertops, and other everyday items.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people with the flu can spread it to others up to six feet away and it’s easily spread when people cough, sneeze and talk. The flu can seem like a common cold at first but get worse through time.

One item many often forget about are cell phones. People use these devices for communication and entertainment.

According to a study done by Times Magazine, cell phones can have over 17,000 different strains of bacteria. In some cases, it can be 10 times worse than a toilet bowl.

“A lot of times with cell phones is that people will contact the phone constantly throughout the day,” said Doctor Justin Nistico, DO, from Arnot Health. “It’s not to say that all the bacteria on the phone will cause an infection, but what it can be is that a lot of times there are some strains of bacteria on the cell phone that can cause a big problem.”

A big trend happening is people bringing their phones into the bathroom; this causes the device to be vulnerable to bacteria strains.

Nistico says: “To try to prevent that is to not you know have that kind of risk where you’re bringing your phone in the bathroom because there’s lots of risk for infection.”

Doctor Nistico says people should clean their phone a few times each month with a mixture of water and cleaning alcohol.

An easy trick to stay healthy is to remember to wash your hands with warm water and soap. Another trick is to not bring your cell phone to the bathroom.