What’s minuscule, potentially harmful and is very possibly lurking on your cash money? A multitude of bacteria and viruses, that’s what.  It turns out that coins and bills are some of the dirtiest things you touch every day. Two Chinese bank clerks recently learned this the hard way after contracting a very unpleasant condition, supposedly on the job. Heads up, you might not want to read this while eating.

Money is not clean, in fact, it’s very dirty. Think about it, a single bill can change hands several times a day. Every hand has all kinds of germs and viruses that can easily hitch rides on the bills and spread to other people. While most of these microbes die after about 48 hours, studies have shown the flu virus can survive on American dollars for up to 17 days! That’s pretty gross! What’s even more disconcerting is that the flu virus is not even close to the worst of the germs lying in wait on the paper money.

▼ What kind of bacteria and viruses are living on our bills?!


Recently, researchers at the City University of Hong Kong’s Bacteria Research Center proclaimed that of all the money in Asia, China’s was the dirtiest. One unfortunate bank clerk from Wenzhou in Western China felt the full effects of this dirty money first hand.

▼ There’s something lurking on these bills, but do you really want to know what?


The 30-year-old woman started feeling some itchiness in her private area and upon consulting her doctor, she found out she had somehow contracted genital warts. Worried her fiancé was being unfaithful, she dragged him to the hospital to get checked out. This is where the plot thickens: the fiancé tested negative. Where did the genital warts come from?!

Her doctor reasoned that as a bank clerk, she handles hundreds, if not thousands, of bills a day. She probably went to the restroom without washing her hands prior to doing her business, bringing the germs from all of the dirty bills, including the genital warts virus, into close contact with her feminine region.

▼ Maybe we should consider washing our hands both before and after using the toilet.


This sounds pretty fishy, but maybe we just don’t want to believe it. We definitely don’t want to think about how the Chinese bills were exposed to genital warts in the first place.

According to the bank clerk’s doctor, this isn’t the first time he’s seen this happen, citing a previous, almost identical incident with another female patient, who also, not-so-coincidentally, was a bank clerk.

Chances are you won’t contract an STI from handling money like these young ladies did, but it might still be worth washing your hands after dealing with money, even just to prevent the flu or common cold.

Sources: NariNari, TIME
Images: Wikimedia Commons (Elyyo, PhD Dre), Pixabay (offthelefteye)