I just heard a viral program on the bbc that corona isn't killed my sunlight. I thought all viruses and bacteria were attenuated an the sun, am i incorrect?

  • 3
    Corona is a brand of beer.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 19:27
  • Sir please format well your questions before posting: add the proper tags e.g. covid-19, add the proper name of the virus e.g. COVID-19 and add your previous research on the matter e.g. the bbc link+ google information Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 20:12
  • I can't remember which bbc program it was. And I'm asking about all viruses. Commented Apr 23, 2020 at 19:00

2 Answers 2


We don't know yet whether sunlight will inactivate COVID-19.

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.

but data on SARS suggests it is not inactivated by sunlight

"Right now, there is no data on whether the UVA rays of the sun can inactivate this coronavirus," says Leon. However, research on SARS, another coronavirus closely related to the one causing the current pandemic, found that exposing that virus to UVA light for 15 minutes did nothing to reduce its infectivity, Leon says.

duration didn't help

We determined that greater than 15 min of UVC treatment inactivated the virus while UVA light had no effect on viability, regardless of duration of exposure.

Inactivation of the coronavirus that induces severe acute respiratory syndrome, SARS-CoV https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016609340400179X



I'm a bit wary about the word "all" when it comes to medicine - what I've found with a quick Google search (GIYF):

Under full-spectrum sunlight, all viruses investigated to date have been found to undergo endogenous inactivation. Among the viruses studied, human adenovirus (HAdV) and MS2 appear to be the most resistant whereas poliovirus and somatic phages are particularly sensitive. Even for the relatively resistant viruses, however, sunlight inactivation via endogenous mechanisms was found to be the main inactivation process in clear natural waters. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7064263/

And then... "Fact check: Sunlight does not kill the new coronavirus" https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/03/30/fact-check-sunlight-does-not-kill-new-coronavirus/2931170001/


RESULTS: The results showed that SARS coronavirus in the testing condition could survive in serum, 1:20 diluted sputum and feces for at least 96 h, whereas it could remain alive in urine for at least 72 h with a low level of infectivity. The survival abilities on the surfaces of eight different materials and in water were quite comparable, revealing reduction of infectivity after 72 to 96 h exposure. Viruses stayed stable at 4 degrees C, at room temperature (20 degrees C) and at 37 degrees C for at least 2 h without remarkable change in the infectious ability in cells, but were converted to be non-infectious after 90-, 60- and 30-min exposure at 56 degrees C, at 67 degrees C and at 75 degrees C, respectively. Irradiation of UV for 60 min on the virus in culture medium resulted in the destruction of viral infectivity at an undetectable level. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14631830

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