Contaminated cash may spread coronavirus, World Health Organization warns

The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised people to wash their hands and stop using cash if possible as the paper bills may help spread coronavirus.

WHO told the Telegraph on Tuesday that customers who use cash bills should consider using contactless payments instead as coronavirus (Covid-19) may cling to the surface of paper bills for multiple days.

In the Telegraph article, the Bank of England acknowledged that cash can carry bacteria or viruses and urges people to wash their hands regularly.

RELATED: Coronavirus: Symptoms, testing and how to prepare amid growing COVID-19 outbreak

Last month, both China and Korea began disinfecting and isolating used banknotes as part of their efforts to stop the spread of the virus. 

Officials used ultraviolet light or high temperatures to sterilize the bills, then sealed them for 14days, before releasing them back into circulation.

MAP: This is where there are confirmed coronavirus cases in the US and around the world

It's not known exactly how long the coronavirus can survive outside the human body but it's believed they can survive on inanimate objects for up to nine days at room temperature.

Money, similar to things like doorknobs, handrails, phones, and credit cards, can carry the bacteria or viruses. So, in the end, just wash your hands.

A clerk disinfects banknotes in the headquarters of Suining Bank in Suining city in southwest China's Sichuan province Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. China's central bank has ordered banks to disinfect cash and destroy cash received from hospitals to curb

Cleaning tips to keep your workspace safe amid coronavirus worries

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.