GROSS! Credit cards are filthy - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

GROSS! Credit cards are filthy

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(WOIO) - When you head out to the mall or the stores this weekend remember, you are not alone!

A recent study done found that 1 in 10 bank cards have fecal bacteria on them and 1 in 7 bills are contaminated, too.

"Things that get touched multiple times by many people are likely to be contaminated, particularly money, and in this case, a highlighted credit card because we pass them from our hands to someone else and back and forth and its not at all unusual for them to be contaminated with bacteria," says Dr. Alan Taege with the Cleveland Clinic.

Researchers swabbed the hands, money and credit cards of nearly 300 people. They found bacteria on the hands of 11 percent of the people, on 8 percent of the credit cards, and 6 percent of the bills they tested.

"They highlighted the fact that staphylococcal bacteria, as well as many organisms that are found in, hate to say it, fecal matter found in stool in the GI tract were found on these particular items that they tested," says Dr. Alan Taege with the Cleveland Clinic.

Researches say bacteria spreads fast and cell phones and handbags are also hot spots for germs. To avoid getting sick, doctors suggest wiping down your credit cards after using them, or just be sure to wash your hands as much as possible.

"Still the best thing is remembering these are dirty surfaces, so after you handle them, either wash your hands, or if you're going to be out shopping like everyone will be for the holidays now, these various hand rubs that you can carry in your pocket the little alcohol rub bottles and so forth and so on, those types of things may not be perfect but they help," says Dr. Alan Taege of the Cleveland Clinic.

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