The CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (abbreviated “COVID-19”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and continues to expand. Chinese health officials have reported tens of thousands of cases of COVID-19 in China. Some person-to-person spread of this virus outside China has been detected, and the United States reported the first confirmed instance of person-to-person spread with this virus on January 30, 2020. Not long after, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concernexternal icon” (PHEIC).
The novel coronavirus is a kind of positive-sense single-stranded RNV virus, same as the SARS and MERS virus. While the complete clinical picture with regard to COVID-19 is not fully understood, both MERS and SARS have been known to cause severe illness in people. Research on SARS found that this kind of virus is sensitive to ultraviolet (UV-C) light and can be diminished with exposure to UV-C irradiation stronger than 90 μW/cm2. Thus, in theory, UV-C light would be able to destroy the novel coronavirus.
Ultraviolet light has been used widely in disinfection with a wide range of medical and non-medical products available in the market. UV-C light is germicidal because it inactivates microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA. Ultraviolet light not only kills the virus on surfaces but also those in the air. China is currently disinfecting some aircrafts as well as yuan bills with ultraviolet light as part of efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus that has killed more than 1,500 people.
ClorDiSys Solutions has an ultraviolet light disinfection tower, the Torch, that is an inexpensive, easily transportable, powerful system that provides a rapid and highly effective method to disinfect surfaces, components, room surfaces and common touch points. Each Torch produces an efficient UV-C output of 12 mJ/minute (200 μw/cm2) to get a calculated 99% reduction of MRSA in 1 minute and Clostridium difficile spores in 5 minutes. In 2015, the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit (NBU) treated patients with Ebola virus disease evacuated from West Africa to the United States. Four Torch towers were used as the final disinfection step within those patients’ rooms and bathrooms. ClorDiSys also has a smaller version of this UV-C generator called the Lantern, designed for use within EMS vehicles and ambulances. Our line of ultraviolet light systems continues to grow and evolve to further support infection control efforts worldwide.