Can Contaminated Money Spread COVID-19?


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Yes it’s possible and it’s a good question. We know that money changes hands frequently and can pick up all sorts of bacteria and viruses and things like that.We would advise people to wash their hands after handling banknotes, and avoid touching their face. When possible it’s a good idea to use contactless payments, The World Health Organization said.

The new coronavirus, like other viruses in that family, causes respiratory infections in humans.

The World Health Organization has advised people to "wash their hands after handling banknotes."

However, the virus needs to enter the body via the mouth or nose. That means any potential transmission involving money necessarily includes touching your face after touching a contaminated bill or coin.

In general, coronaviruses can remain infectious on surfaces exposed to the elements for several days.

A recent review of 22 scientific studies showed that “human coronaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus or endemic human coronaviruses (HCoV)

  • Can persist on inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic?

    For up to 9 days

  • On paper or banknote ?

    A 2003 study conducted on a strain of SARS found infectious coronavirus for up to 72 hours on “press paper”

Based on structural similarities among coronaviruses, it is a reasonable conclusion that this would hold true for the new coronavirus as well.

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