Effectiveness of UV Light for Killing the Coronavirus

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The Best Disinfectant Technology on the Market

COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease, caused by a type of coronavirus which is an enveloped virus containing single-stranded ribonucleic acid (ssRNA) (positive-sense).

The zoonotic pandemic that started in December 2019 through bat consumption. As this infectious disease began to spread faster than wildfire, it was renamed as SARS-CoV-2 by scientists in February 2020 after it showed a striking resemblance to SARS-COV, a similar virus also caused by a type of coronavirus, recognized by the WHO in 2003. To control the spread of the lethal COVID-19, a worldwide emergency has been declared to enforce social distancing and the public is advised to disinfect their skin and surfaces with soap and detergent regularly. 

Meanwhile, scientific literature emerged on the benefits of using ultraviolet-C light to kill COVID-19 as it had been successfully used to kill SARS-CoV and MERS in the past which are the other two zoonotic animal disease similar to COVID-19. China is currently using UV technology to disinfect banknotes, buses and hospitals to control the pandemic. Alongside, the Hong Kong International airport being one of the busiest worldwide airports, has also turned to autonomous and mobile UV cleaning robots for disinfection. To control the spread, this technology is also being employed in Europe, especially in the hospitals of Italy, the nation most adversely hit by the coronavirus. 

UV-C being an electromagnetic radiation of wavelength ranging between 200–280 nm, is the most effect form of ultraviolet light to kill living organisms, including viruses on a genetic level. As it is proven, the maximum absorption wavelength of a DNA or RNA molecule is at 260 nm, so a UV light of such wavelength (i.e. UV-C) directly effects nucleic acids of organisms in a detrimental manner. Due to this it has been used as a final disinfection step in hospital settings after removing the patient as a surefire means to disinfect patient rooms, bathrooms, PPE, ambulances, etc. in countries including the US, the UK, Canada, Russia and many others. In addition, during UV light decontamination, the ozone level in the room was also assessed in some experiments and its concentrations ranged from undetectable to 0.012 ppm (parts per million). UV-C light technology, due to its potency and effectiveness, has a history of use in the 21st century for sterilization purposes to inactivate and destroy bacteria, viruses, molds and other potential pathogens in not just the medical field but also food, water and air decontamination. Since then the application of UV-C technology has reached more common indoors like homes and offices as an efficient and sustainable sanitization method to combat pathogens and diseases conveniently.

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