Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Old currency notes can cause infection: Doctors

by Mizzima News
Monday, 24 August 2009 19:53

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Old and worn out currency notes in circulation in Burma can cause serious health hazards through infection, doctors said.

The doctors said bacteria, viruses and protozoa besides many kinds of bacteria, which can cause itching, can be found on the torn and worn out currency notes.

"Handling torn and old currency notes can lead to respiratory infectious diseases, skin diseases such as ring worms and sweat fungi. So it is dangerous," Dr. Thiha Maung, Director of the 'National Health and Education Committee', an organization in exile, said.

He advises people to wash their hands and take care not to inhale the gas emanating from torn and old currency notes.

In former capital Rangoon too, people have no choice but use worn out notes.

The old currency notes may not cause as much harm to healthy young people and the middle aged but it can affect the health of babies, the elderly and pregnant women. So the vulnerable sections need to take care while handling old notes.

"It's better to wear surgical masks when counting such notes and then wash your hands," a doctor from Asia Tawwin Hospital in Sanchaung Township in Rangoon said.

Beginning last month, torn and old currency notes can be exchanged with new ones at the Myanmar Central Bank, Currency Department Counter on the corner of Strand Road and Bo Sun Pet Road and branches of the Myanmar Economic Bank.

But the number of torn notes, which can be exchanged with new ones, is limited to only 10 pieces a head. People want the government to raise the limit, it is learnt.

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