The World Health Organisation is advising consumers to avoid handling bank notes and instead switch to contactless payments to deter the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
The WHO's advice comes after China and Korea began isolating and disinfecting used bank notes, which are known carriers of viruses and bacteria.
A 2017 study of used bank notes in New York found 397 distinct bacterial species crawling across the bills.
A World Health Organisation spokesperson told The Telegraph: 'We know that money changes hands frequently and can pick up all sorts of bacteria and viruses.
'We would advise people to wash their hands after handling banknotes, and avoid touching their face.
'When possible it would also be advisable to use contactless payments to reduce the risk of transmission.'