June 4, 2020
Handheld UV light devices that can kill Covid-19 may soon be as commonplace as mobile phones, researchers claim.
For years experts have known UV rays can destroy genetic material inside viruses, hampering their ability to survive on surfaces.
Scientists fighting to end the pandemic have yet to uncover any proof that UV light can kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that cases Covid-19.
But studies have repeatedly shown that it can be used against other coronaviruses, such as the closely related strain behind SARS.
UV light is already used to disinfect public transport, planes and hospitals, including in the NHS, to control the spread of germs.
Surfaces need to be exposed to extremely high doses to ensure viruses are destroyed – but the current devices used are bulky and expensive.
Scientists are now one step closer to making portable gadgets capable of warding off the coronavirus, which has infected at least 6million people worldwide.
A team at Penn State University made a ‘breakthrough’ in the hunt for materials that can successfully emit UV radiation in a compact device.
However, UV light of this intensity would be dangerous to human skin and eyes, so the feasibility of selling such devices commercially is not currently clear.
This article was posted: Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 3:12 am