Mobile phones pose a health threat as lightening conductors during storms, say doctors.

Doctors are alerting people about the risk of using mobile phones during thunderstorms after lightening struck a girl and caused long-term physical and mental damage.

The doctors described in a letter to the British Medical Journal how the girl has a perforated eardrum on the side where she was holding the mobile phone.

During a normal lightening strike, lightening usually travels outside the body over the skin in a phenomenon called a "flashover", which can cause burning, but metal objects can conduct the lightening through the skin causing internal injuries.

Three other cases of being struck by lightening while using a mobile phone during a thunderstorm have been reported in China, Malaysia, and South Korea. In Malaysia, the victim suffered such severe injuries that he died.