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Scientists discover UV light to kill flu virus

By contrast, the study found that continuous low doses of far-UVC light, which is around 207 to 222 nanometers in wavelength, is capable to inactivate more than 95 percent of aerosolized H1N1 flu virus in a lab setting

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earlier studies have proved that far-UVC light is not harmful to the human body. Wikimedia Commons
earlier studies have proved that far-UVC light is not harmful to the human body. Wikimedia Commons
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Scientists have discovered a special type of ultraviolet (UV) light that can kill airborne flu viruses without harming human tissues, according to a new study.

Broad-spectrum ultraviolet C (UVC) light, which has a wavelength of between 200 to 400 nanometers, has been routinely used to kill bacteria and viruses by destroying the molecular bonds that hold their DNA together, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Unfortunately, conventional germicidal UV light is also a human health hazard and can lead to skin cancer and cataracts, which prevents its use in public spaces,” said David J.

Also Read: Scientists Use Pocket-size Device to Map Human Genetic Code

Brenner, lead author and director of the Centre for Radiological Research at Columbia University Irving Medical Centre, in a statement on Saturday.

By contrast, the study found that continuous low doses of far-UVC light, which is around 207 to 222 nanometers in wavelength, is capable to inactivate more than 95 percent of aerosolized H1N1 flu virus in a lab setting.

Moreover, earlier studies have proved that far-UVC light is not harmful to the human body.

If these results are confirmed in other scenarios, the use of overhead far-UVC light in hospitals, doctors’ offices, schools, airports, aeroplanes and other public spaces could provide a powerful check on seasonal flu epidemics and pandemics, said the study.

Also Read: Your body could soon power wearable devices

Flu activity continues to increase across the United States, making the season the most recent “high” severity season, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report on Friday.

Sixty-three children died from flu this winter, it added. (IANS)

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Viral Outbreak In Pediatric Facility Takes Another Person

Over the past decade, severe illness and death from type 7 adenovirus have been reported in the United States

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New Jersey, Virus
Police cruisers are parked near the entrance of the Wanaque Center for Nursing And Rehabilitation in Haskell, N.J., where New Jersey health officials have confirmed 28 cases of adenovirus. VOA

A 10th person died amid a viral outbreak at a pediatric care center while a different strain of the virus was found at another facility in the state, New Jersey health officials said Thursday.

The state Health Department confirmed in a statement that the “medically fragile child” at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation had the adenovirus infection.

There have been 28 cases associated with the respiratory virus at the center, where the affected children had severely compromised immune systems. One of those who died was a young adult.

“The loss of these young lives is heartbreaking, and our thoughts are with the families who are affected,” Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal said in a statement.

 

New Jersey, Virus
AdenoVirus

 

The state also said there were four confirmed adeno virus cases among pediatric patients at Voorhees Pediatric Facility, near Philadelphia, but preliminary tests have ruled out it’s the same strain affecting Wanaque.

The department said it’s working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor the illness and announced earlier this week that infection control teams were being sent to New Jersey’s four long-term pediatric centers to help with training.

Officials have said there is not a wider public health concern stemming from the outbreak.

New patients are not being admitted at Wanaque.

The department also said Thursday that the illness was last detected on Tuesday. The previous date had been Monday. But, the department said, that’s not a surprise since the disease has a long incubation period of up to two weeks.

The outbreak won’t be considered over until four weeks without a new illness goes by.

New Jersey, Virus
Ten children have died as a result of a severe viral outbreak in the ventilator unit of a long-term care center in Wanaque.

Little risk, usually

Adenovirus usually poses little risk for healthy people. It can cause mild cold or flu symptoms, and some strains also cause diarrhea and pink eye.

The virus strain found in the Wanaque rehab center outbreak is called type 7 and is among the more potent types. It sometimes causes more serious respiratory illness, especially among those with weak immune systems.

Elnahal had earlier said all the cases of the outbreak occurred in a respiratory, or ventilator, unit. The department has since said one staff member became ill but has recovered.

The identities of those who died and the affected patients have not been disclosed.

Also Read: Paralysis Causing Illness In Children Baffles Doctors

Over the past decade, severe illness and death from type 7 adenovirus have been reported in the United States, according to the CDC, but it’s unclear how many have died from it.

The CDC cited a 2001 scientific paper that reported a 1998 outbreak of type 7 at a facility in Chicago that left eight patients dead. The paper said civilian outbreaks were not frequently reported because of a lack of lab resources. (VOA)