Can you detect the spread of coronavirus with UV light?

In May 2020, a viral video from Japan showed how fast germs and virus can spread in restaurants.

The simulation was based on a very simple concept. A fluorescent substance was applied on the hands of an “infected” person. Ten other people entered the restaurant.

At the end of the video, a black light was used to show how the “virus” had spread on food, cutlery, platters and even on the faces of some of the other customers.

The same kind of experiment was carried out at Florida Atlantic University.

Does UV light detect coronavirus?

These contamination simulations proved the importance of cleaning your hands with sanitiser when you enter (& exit) a public space, to reduce the probability of infection.

UV light alone would not be able to detect coronavirus but it could easily show how fast body fluids can spread from one person to the others in a crowded environment.

Can UV light kill the virus?

A few months ago the American president said that UV light, which is associated with sunshine, could kill coronavirus. Such a simple solution, isn’t it?

It’s true that there is a certain type of UV which could potentially kill the virus but we’re not talking here about the basic UVA and UVB types of UV (which can already be harmful, causing skin cancer). We’re talking about UVC.

UVC, which is a relatively obscure part of the UV spectrum, is much more powerful than the A & B versions. It’s used in water sanitisation and for sterilisation purposes in hospitals.

But if we were bombarded by UVC as we are by sunshine during summer, we would be instantly fried by radiations. It takes a few seconds to get sunburn from UVC!

A concentrated form of UVC can be used in a controlled environment but it will never be possible to expose the streets to a massive charge of UVC. That would kill more people than the virus itself!