Diseases Worth Dollars

January 4, 2017
Diseases Worth Dollars

Bacteria might be hiding in plain sight. People transfer their germs to everything they touch – including money. One uses money multiple times a day, and with these transactions, comes the handling of currency by multiple people. The Federal Reserve estimates that the average lifespan of a dollar is 5.8 years. This dollar is passed between thousands of people, each of them touching this bill, and adding their own germs.  Scientific American’s Dina Fine wrote on this topic in the article, “Dirty Money.” Fine explains that, “fecal bacteria and other pathogens may have hitched a ride from someone’s hands, nose or apron onto our cash. And yeast or mold might have taken hold, too.” If that concept isn’t something out of a sci-fi super bug terror movie, it gets worse. According to Fine, :antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as MRSA which causes life threatening blood infections, can survive on our currency.” Scientists also have found E. coli, small amounts of drugs, and fungi on the fibrous texture of money.

However, finding a problem to a likely small issue will not be easy, nor economically sound. Transferring to a cashless society would be a huge burden, and complicate the ease of using cash, especially at places where people do not want their transaction electronically recorded. Currently people still need to wash their hands frequently, not only after using cash, but with other public entities, including railings, door knobs and even personal belongings such as keyboards and cell phones. Here is to hoping it pays to be cautious.


Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/dirty-money/

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