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Low Dose-Rate Far-UVC Light Can Inactivate Influenza Virus

Far-UVC at 222-nm light can inactivate aerosolized viruses; >95 percent of H1N1 influenza inactivated

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 14, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Very low-dose 222-nm UVC ultraviolet light can inactivate more than 95 percent of aerosolized H1N1 influenza virus, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in Scientific Reports.

Noting that far-UVC light (207 to 222 nm) efficiently inactivates bacteria without harm to exposed mammalian skin, David Welch, Ph.D., from Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues examined the effectiveness of far-UVC light for inactivating airborne viruses carried in aerosols.

The researchers found that far-UVC light efficiently inactivated airborne aerosolized viruses. A dose of 2 mJ/cm² of 222-nm light was able to inactivate more than 95 percent of aerosolized H1N1 influenza virus.

“Our results indicate that far-UVC light is a powerful and inexpensive approach for prevention and reduction of airborne viral infections without the human health hazards inherent with conventional germicidal UVC lamps,” the authors write. “If these results are confirmed in other scenarios, it follows that the use of overhead very low level far-UVC light in public locations may represent a safe and efficient methodology for limiting the transmission and spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases.”

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