One of the permanent troubles of people when it starts to hibernate is the flu virus, which afflicts a large portion of people. But, a … unexpected discovery by American scientists, might give a solution. It has been found, therefore, that continuous low doses of ultraviolet light can kill airborne viruses without damaging human tissues.
Influenza is transmitted mainly through droplets that are transported by air from person to person. The study showed that this light effectively kills the flu virus in the air. This, according to scientists, opens the way for special UV light lamps in the future to be used in hospitals, doctors’ offices, schools, airports, airplanes and other public places, making it a useful weapon against seasonal influenza outbreaks , but also to a possible future pandemic.
Researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center, headed by Professor David Brenner, who published the publication in the journal Scientific Reports, said that if the findings are confirmed by future research, then society will have in its hands a new important anti-virus feature.
“The use of light bulbs with low-level long-light ultraviolet light in public places will be a safe and effective method for limiting transmission and spread of diseases caused by airborne germs such as influenza and tuberculosis,” said Dr. Brenner.
At a cost of less than $ 1,000 per lamp – which will drop if there is mass production – long UV illumination can be applied more widely. And, according to the researchers, “unlike influenza vaccines, this light is likely to be effective against all airborne germs, including their new strains.”
Scientists have known for decades that UVC light spectrum, with a wavelength of between 200 and 400 nanometers (nm), is highly effective for killing bacteria and viruses as it destroys the molecular bonds that retain their DNA. This is why this conventional ultraviolet light is widely used to sterilize surgical instruments.
Apart from the positive ones, there are also the negative ones. Bactericidal ultraviolet radiation also damages people and can lead to cancer and eye cataracts, which makes it prohibitive for use in public places.
However, as the new scientific research has shown, far-UVC ultraviolet radiation with low doses at a wavelength of 222 nanometers does not cause damage to human tissues while destroying viruses such as H1N1 influenza virus and resistant MRSA bacteria.