During a press conference on April 23, United States president Donald Trump mentioned the idea of using UV light to help prevent and treat COVID-19 infection.
Extreme exposure to UV light is an effective way to combat COVID-19 inside the body
Fact or Fiction?
What You Need to Know:
During a press conference on April 23, United States president Donald Trump mentioned the idea of using UV light to help prevent and treat COVID-19 infection. He said “supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way…the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute – that’s pretty powerful.”
While research has shown that UV light can be used to destroy a wide spectrum of viruses and bacteria, it is unclear what length of time would be necessary to kill the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19. That level of uncertainty would mean having to expose patients to prolonged periods of harmful UV light, which is known to drastically increase the risk of forming cancerous cells and damage to the eyes. UV light treatment would also be ineffective due to the fact that it would only sterilize surface areas, unable to penetrate deeper into the body to neutralize the virus inside.
A more effective use of UV light to combat the coronavirus threat would be the use of a new technology utilizing a shorter wavelength UV light called far-UVC lights. The shorter wavelength does not cause harm to human tissue, but is still an effective manner in which to destroy viruses and bacteria. Using this new technology in high traffic areas to sterilize surfaces and skin could significantly reduce the number of infectious cells that linger and help slow the spread of COVID-19 and possible future threats.