Studies across the country have found over 3,000 types of bacteria live on the average dollar bill, and while the majority of germs found on cash and coins are harmless, powerful viruses can travel with currency.
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -
Which has more germs: a toilet seat, or the money you carry in your wallet or purse?
If your answered with toilet seat, like many people, you'd be wrong. In fact, studies across the country have found over 3,000 types of bacteria live on the average dollar bill, and with that comes good news and bad news.
The majority of bacteria found on cash and coins is harmless, but that's not always the case.
As Communicable Disease Coordinator Jon Campos with the Adams County Health Department explains, cash is the perfect vessel to spread germs across the country at an incredible rate.
"Some of these organisms and bacteria can live on surfaces, depending on temperature and humidity and things like that," Campos said. "Paper money ends up being a pretty good place for it to live and it can probably live a little bit longer than on normal surfaces."
We'll have more on this story coming up on WGEM News Today, including prevention and where consumers face the biggest health concerns.