STUDY: How Sh50 note can cause serious health problems

By Vincent Kejitan | Monday, Jun 17th 2019 at 14:10
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 A study by the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and researchers from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has revealed that the Sh20 coin and the Sh50 note are the most contaminated denominations in the country.

According to the study that was presented at the 7th East African Health and Scientific Conference in Tanzania early this year, Sh20 coins and Sh50 notes had various disease-causing organisms due to their wide circulation.

The most common bacteria found on the two was Staphylococcus which can cause skin, heart and bone infections, food poisoning, pneumonia and toxic shock in humans.

Some denominations also tested positive for E coli which can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and sometimes vomiting.

The samples were collected from food handlers in 15 different outlets in Nairobi and the least contamination was in Sh1 and Sh5 coins and the Sh1000 notes.

Equally, phones were tested and confirmed to be tainted with 12 pathogens, with Staphylococcus species being the most prevalent.

“Food handlers and the general public should be sensitised on the risks involved in handling food after touching money and cellphones,” warns the study.

In 2009, a similar study by KEMRI revealed that coins from butchers and roadside maize sellers were the most contaminated and had agents from fecal matter.

It was concluded that some of the food handlers either never used tissue paper when they visit the washroom or they do not use it the correct way.

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