Can "UV" Lights Reduce the Risk of Infectious Diseases Like Covid-19?

News  Can "UV" Lights Reduce the Risk of Infectious Diseases Like Covid-19?

Oct 06, 2020

How ultraviolet light is being used to disinfect and decontaminate surfaces during a pandemic.

As the world continues to deal with the spread of Covid-19 more attention is being brought towards healthy living. How to stay safe, how to clean surfaces and how to prevent sickness by social distancing. While there are several vaccine trials in the works to combat the virus, for now the best anyone can do is follow official health guidelines on how to stay healthy and safe.

As the world fights to bring this highly infectious disease under control, much is being done to prevent it’s spread along with other diseases and bacteria still affecting thousands. New studies are being developed daily showing effective ways to help kill off harmful bacteria. Several of those studies deal specific types of UV (ultraviolet) lights and the first line of defense...hospitals.

According to ‘DukeHealth.org’ research studies, there is a type of “UV” light called ultraviolet light C (or UVC) helping reduce the transmission of super bugs and bacteria that may stay longer in patient’s rooms, long after they’ve been treated and cause new infections. These studies suggest machines emitting “UV” light can lower the transmission rate of super bugs like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), C. difficile and Acinetobacter.  This has resulted in several ultraviolet C machines being placed in use at several Duke University affiliated hospitals across the country.

Studies of ultraviolet C from ‘DukeHealth.org’ goes on to say “UV” machines emitting light can lower the transmission rate of those four major super bugs (mentioned above) by a cumulative 30 percent. The studies highlight specifically, patients who stay overnight in rooms where a known positive case infection of the superbugs had previously been treated.  

*You can find the full study here.*

Dr. Deverick J. Anderson, an ‘Infectious Disease Specialist’ at Duke Infectious Diseases Clinic in Durham, NC and a lead investigator in the studies says...

“Some of these germs can live in the environment so long that even after a patient with the organism has left the room and it has been cleaned, the next patient in the room could potentially be exposed.”

Hospitals aren’t the only place “UVC” light is being used though. According to an article in the “Kaiser Health Network"(KHN), several cities are also using ultraviolet C light to disinfect surfaces in public places (like transit) where infectious disease droplets could live. The light is also being used to disinfect N95 masks for reuse as well. The article goes on to say while the science (and study) of ultraviolet C light evolves, it could become a useful prevention tool against airborne and surface transmission of infectious disease.  

Restaurants have also pivoted to using ultraviolet light to disinfect their establishments as well. Over the summer “KHN” reported on a restaurant in Washington State called “Marlaina’s” which is using a “UV” system to help keep their space clean. “Marlaina’s” owner installed the lights (called an upper-room germicidal UV) while the state was on lockdown and has been using it ever since.

*View entire article here.*

While it’s unclear how widely promoted this form of disinfection will be, over the coming months, those studying its effectiveness are forging ahead (and working in tandem) with vaccine trials to find ways to minimize the spread of not only Covid-19 but numerous other infectious diseases globally. To learn more about ultraviolet light C or UV disinfection visit the Kaiser Health Network or ‘DukeHealth.org’ .

 

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