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Last Updated : Sep 18, 2020 05:59 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

UV light can effectively kill virus causing COVID-19, new study suggests

This is the first such study to prove its efficacy against the virus responsible for the current pandemic, according to the researchers. This safer version of UV light may be able to disinfect public spaces and kill the coronavirus.

LIVE updates of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on India and the world
LIVE updates of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on India and the world

Ultraviolet C light with a wavelength of 222 nanometres, which is safer to use around humans, effectively kills the SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus causing COVID-19, new research has shown.

According to the researchers, who belong to Hiroshima University in Japan and have published their findings in the American Journal of Infection Control, this is the first such study to prove its efficacy against the virus responsible for the current pandemic.

An in vitro experiment by the researchers showed that 99.7 percent of the SARS-CoV-2 viral culture was killed after a 30-second exposure to 222 nm UVC irradiation at 0.1 mW/cm2. 

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The tests were conducted using a UVC lamp, which may be used to now disinfect occupied and crowded public spaces from the coronavirus.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The researchers have, however, suggested further evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of 222 nm UVC irradiation in killing the virus in real-world surfaces since their study only investigated its efficacy within a lab environment.
First Published on Sep 18, 2020 05:59 pm
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