A follow-up to Sanitizers – Handwashing which also has revised cautions about children and sanitizing gels, especially for businesses New employer business preparedness resource

Dirty money?
UPDATED: 2007-06-20 17:21:32 MST

TORONTO (CP) — The people who coined the terms filthy lucre and dirty money may have been on to something.

Swiss researchers have reported that influenza viruses can survive — alive and potentially infectious — on bank notes for up to 17 days in some cases.

It’s not known what portion of influenza transmission is due to the touching of contaminated surfaces with hands which then transport viruses to the vulnerable mucous membranes of the nose or mouth. And this study can’t answer that question….

“When you see that the virus is still alive for several days, I can’t imagine that it does not infect. I’m sure that it can infect,” Thomas, a virologist at the Swiss National Centre for Influenza, said… “It’s still alive. And it’s alive in quantities that can infect.”

But a Toronto-based infectious diseases expert said she isn’t convinced.

“The problem with all of the environmental studies of influenza and other pathogens is the fact that these bacteria and viruses survive in the environment doesn’t mean they are transmitted by the environment,” said Dr. Allison McGeer, head of infection control at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

… But laboratory experiments, done under controlled conditions, don’t always reflect what happens in the real world.

So the group tried a third phase of the work, swabbing still more bills with “nasopharyngeal secretions” — yes, that’s snot — from 14 flu-infected children.

At 24 hours, live viruses were retrieved from 50 per cent of the bills. At 48 hours, there was live virus found on 30 per cent. […]

Read the discussion here,

don’t lick your fingers to count bills, and don’t forget to Do it in your sleeve

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