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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 4, January 27, 2008, Article 28

BANKNOTE FLU VIRUS STUDY

[It's not a pleasant thought, but according to a Reuters
article the banknotes we use and collect can host flu viruses.
-Editor]

Bank cashiers and others working with large quantities of
paper currency are vulnerable to catching various types of
flu from the germs living on notes, a Swiss researcher said
on Wednesday.

Yves Thomas, head of the National Influenza Research Centre
at Geneva University Hospital, said that flu viruses could
survive on banknotes from 24 hours up to 17 days.

"Our studies have convinced us that it is possible to catch
flu from banknotes, but the chances are very, very slim and
there is no cause for concern among the general population,"
he told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"All the same, bank employees and others who have to handle
large quantities of notes daily could be at risk," Thomas
said. "This could be reduced if they wear gloves, or even a
mask for those who have to examine currency closely."

Scientists have long known that various types of germs and
bacteria can survive on paper currency, but until now medical
experts have thought that flu only spread through small
droplets in airborne transmission.

But Thomas said his team found that some types of flu virus
could also survive and spread on everyday objects, like
doorhandles as well as banknotes.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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