Coronavirus FAQs: Can Sunlight Kill The Virus? How Risky Is An Elevator Ride?

In this week's installment, we also look at how to handle that inevitable moment — you need a plumber or electrician or another repairperson to come to your home.

Can sunlight kill the coronavirus? What about UV light?

Sunlight contains three types of ultraviolet light – UVA, which tans your skin (and ages it) and can cause eye damage; UVB, which burns and also ages skin; and UVC, which is "the most harmful one" because it's quite good at destroying genetic material, explains Juan Leon, a virologist who focuses on environmental health at Emory University. Luckily, he notes, the sun's UVC rays don't reach us because they are filtered out by Earth's atmosphere.

Sunlight can be a good disinfectant with other pathogens. Leon notes that's why in the developing world, the World Health Organization recommends sterilizing by putting it in plastic containers and leaving it outside in the sun for about 5 hours.

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