Can Ultraviolet Light Fight COVID-19?

While we all hope for a COVID-19 vaccine, many of us are keen to go about our day-to-day lives again. Physical distancing and hand washing have helped limit the spread of the virus but can’t prevent all forms of transmission, particularly indoors.

With the virus known to stay alive in the air for a number of hours – and on some surfaces, for days – a physicist at Columbia University is harnessing the power of light in an attempt to stop the virus before it infects.

David Brenner, who has developed a UV lighting system that can kill viruses including COVID-19, believes the technology and know-how already exists.

UV-C is absorbed into the dead cells on the surface of our skin and eyes, making it less harmful that typical UV light. /Columbia University/CGTN

Brenner said, “UV light has been used to kill viruses for a very long time – it’s 100 years since we knew that UV light kills viruses.”

Such ultraviolet light is already used in hospitals, one example being to sterilize operating theaters. UV-C, a type of ultraviolet light is often called germicidal UV for its sterilization properties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.