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Shedding light on the myths of ultraviolet radiation in the Covid-19 pandemic
O'Connor, Cathal; Courtney, C.; Murphy, Michelle
The rapidly evolving knowledge base surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic has led to anxiety and cognitive dissonance. Misinformation about the role of ultraviolet (UV) radiation has spread rapidly, including statements from the President of the United States of America in April 2020. Myths related to SARS-CoV-2 and UV radiation are being widely shared on social media. #uvKillsCovid19 and #UVdisinfection have emerged as new search terms on Twitter. It has erroneously been claimed that sunlight and tanning beds, which contain UVA and UVB, eradicate Covid-19 via ultraviolet radiation. UVA and UVB are poorly virucidal. UVC is shorter wavelength (Figure 1), and is absorbed by atmospheric ozone, but man-made sources exist. Even a very brief exposure to UVC induces photo-dimerisation of thymine, therefore disrupting nucleic acid replication and rendering micro-organisms non-viable.
Keyword(s): Covid-19; Ultraviolet (UV) radiation; Misinformation
Publication Date:
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: University College Cork
Citation(s): O'Connor, C., Courtney, C. and Murphy, M. (2020) 'Shedding light on the myths of ultraviolet radiation in the Covid-19 pandemic', Clinical and Experimental Dermatology. doi: 10.1111/ced.14456
Publisher(s): John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
File Format(s): application/pdf
First Indexed: 2020-10-01 06:31:51 Last Updated: 2020-10-01 06:31:51