Midday sunlight is capable of inactivating 90 percent or more of the SARS-CoV-2 virus after 34 minutes of exposure, a new study found.
The study authors calculated the expected inactivation by UVC and UV solar radiation in cities around the world at different times of the year. They concluded that SARS-CoV-2 should inactivate “relatively quickly” during the summer in many populous cities around the world, pointing to the role of sunlight in the onset, rate of spread, and duration of pandemics of coronavirus.
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Jose-Luis Sagripanti and C. David Lytle wrote the study, which was published in the journal Photochemistry and Photobiology earlier this month. The scientists withdrew from the US Army. USA And from the Food and Drug Administration, respectively, the New York Post noted.
Furthermore, they found that only Miami and Houston receive enough solar radiation to inactivate 99 percent of the virus in the spring. During winter, most cities will not receive enough solar radiation to produce 90 percent viral inactivation during the midday exposure, they wrote.
From December to March, “the virus will persist infectious for a day or more in winter, with risk of re-aerosolization and transmission in most of these cities,” the study found.
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The two authors carried out their calculations using a model to estimate the solar inactivation of viruses with biodefense problems, they said, adding that the methodology was validated with the Ebola and Lassa viruses.
If sunlight plays a potential destructive role for the virus, the authors theorized that orders to stay home by forcing people to stay indoors could have increased contagion among members of the same households.
“In contrast, healthy people outdoors receiving sunlight may have been exposed to lower viral doses with more chance of developing an efficient immune response,” they wrote.