How high is the risk of coronavirus infection through cash?

How high is the risk of coronavirus infection through cash?

03C11D7F B6E6 46C4 B751 415CEC65E320 Coronavirus, Research, Money

The risk of a person becoming infected with coronavirus through cash - coins and banknotes - is generally very low. This is the conclusion of a study by experts from the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Department of Medical and Molecular Virology of the German Ruhr-Universitat in Bochum.

The question of how long the virus can stay on money and how long it can be transmitted through it has occupied experts and non-experts since the beginning of the pandemic. The new study developed a new method that specifically controls how many infectious viral particles can be transferred from cash to the skin in real conditions.

The researchers exposed various euro coins and banknotes to solutions with different coronavirus concentrations and then observed how many days the SARS-CoV-2 virus was detectable on the money, using a stainless steel surface as a control for comparison.

The findings are - in general - rather reassuring. It was found that while in stainless steel the infectious coronavirus is still present after seven days, in the banknote e.g. of ten euros has completely disappeared in three days. As for the coins, the virus is no longer detectable (hence not contagious) after six days on the 10 cent coin, after two days on the one euro coin and after just one hour on the five minute coin. The rapid disappearance of the last coin is due to the fact that it is made of copper, on which it is known that viruses are less viable.

Although the virus can persist for days, especially on banknotes, it is estimated that it is rare for a person to be infected through this route, as - among other things - a high viral load is required, which is usually not the case with cash. Lead researcher Daniel Todd said that "under realistic conditions, coronavirus infection from cash is very unlikely."

This is consistent with the findings of other studies that in the vast majority of cases the infection Covid-19 has occurred aerogenously. Despite the initial fears, surface infections seem to be almost non-existent.

Although the study was about the alpha variant of the coronavirus ("British"), the researchers estimate that the Delta variant ("Indian") behaves accordingly on money.

Source: RES-EAP