Germicidal UVC light (254.7nm) is proven to stop all viruses (including Coronavirus’) replicating and therefore spreading. By destroying the section of DNA responsible of its replication – the virus is no longer able to infect or spread.
Coronaviruses are strikingly similar in the way they replicate and their genome organisation (Siddell, 1995) and we can therefore predict with relative confidence that UVC will kill new strains of Coronavirus in much the way it does in the below studies.
Scientifically speaking; the UVC light is absorbed by RNA and DNA bases, causing photochemical fusion of pyrimidines, leading to the bases being unable to then pair together. This results in an inactive virus (Perdiz, 2000).
A team set out to specifically test this phenomenon on SARS-CoV, a strain of Coronavirus that first had an outbreak in 2002. This study found that exposure to UVC light inactivated this type of coronavirus (Darnell et al., 2004).
Whilst all these results were obtained under specific and controlled lab settings, this does begin to paint a picture of UVC’s potential role in fighting the spread of Coronavirus.
Perdiz, D., Grof, P., Mezzina, M., Nikaido, O., Moustacchi, E., Sage, E., 2000. Distribution and repair of bipyrimidine photoproducts in solar UV-irradiated mammalian cells. J. Biol. Chem. 275, 26732– 26742.
Darnell, M., Subbarao, K., Feinstone, S. and Taylor, D. (2004). Inactivation of the coronavirus that induces severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS-CoV. Journal of Virological Methods, 121(1), pp.85-91.