Despite the advancement in the field of science and technology, the world is still vulnerable to certain diseases and viruses — take the novel coronavirus for instance. We have come to a point when we know that no other creations are above us humans; only to be proven wrong with the spread of Covid-19. In a matter of months, the virus has affected the world and claimed the lives of thousands of people.
In the midst of our fight against Covid-19 and our search for its cure, we are also taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus and protect ourselves from this invisible enemy. Proper hygiene, disinfection, and social distancing are some of the measures that we practice today in the hopes of flattening the Covid-19 curve. As the need for sanitizers and disinfects rises, the supply also decreases, making us resort to other possible means such as ultraviolet (UV) light.
UV light is an energy harnessed from the sun and other man-made resources. Even before the arrival of the novel coronavirus, UV light has already been used in sterilizing objects and rooms. This gives us hope that maybe, it can also help us kill this virus.
How does the UV Light System work?
UV light systems are the most effective method for disinfecting bacteria and viruses. It penetrates harmful pathogens and destroys illness-causing microorganisms through DNA and nucleic acid disruption. Furthermore, UV light is electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths shorter than visible light but longer than X-rays.
As we may have already known, viruses do not have reproductive systems to help them reproduce. Instead, they reproduce through two processes: Lytic Cycle and Lysogenic Cycle. Lytic Cycle, or when the virus is attached to a host, injects its DNA into the cell and uses the host’s cellular metabolism for replication and forming proteins. Lysogenic Cycle, on the other hand, also uses the host’s cellular metabolism for DNA replication, but is not translated into proteins. This is where the UV light system comes into the picture. UV or ultraviolet light is capable of damaging or disrupting DNA.
Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA is composed of two strands that are bound together by four bases: the Adenine (A), Cytosine (C), Guanine (G), and Thymine (T). UV light systems destroy DNA by causing Thymine (T) to fuse together; this disruption will result in DNA that can no longer replicate.
Studies contacted on the use of UV light systems on these viruses have shown the efficiency of UV light in deactivating and destroying viruses. Aside from that, it kills the viruses without causing negative effects on the human skin. Further studies have even shown how UV light systems can even kill airborne diseases; which can be really helpful in sterilizing our homes.