Whereas the U.S. races to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, there are two applied sciences already in widespread use exterior the nation that will restrict virus transmission: germicidal ultraviolet gentle and the antituberculosis vaccine BCG, in response to Salmaan Keshavjee, MD, PhD, and Tom Nicholson.
In a Nov. 16 op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Keshavjee, director of Harvard Medical College’s world well being supply middle, and Mr. Nicholson, analysis affiliate at Duke College’s worldwide improvement middle, clarify how the 2 applied sciences will help defend weak populations whereas decreasing airborne viral transmission in indoor areas.
Outfitting indoor public areas with UVC germicidal lighting gadgets might be a less expensive various to the trillions the federal authorities has already spend to scale back the financial affect of the pandemic, in response to Dr. Keshavjee and Mr. Nicholson. Research present that when used along with efficient air flow methods, UVC germicidal lighting supplies the identical impact as fully changing the air in a room greater than 10 occasions an hour. This reduces transmission of airborne ailments in indoor settings.
The second device is the antituberculosis vaccine BCG, which has been used for nearly a century and protects towards tuberculosis. A Nationwide Institutes of Well being examine printed within the journal Cell final month discovered that BCG vaccination triggers a common immune response that decreases viral respiratory tract infections by 79 p.c within the aged, and in a United Arab Emirates trial, no hospital employees randomly assigned to obtain the BCG booster developed COVID-19, whereas 8.6 p.c of those that didn’t obtain a booster have been contaminated.
Dr. Keshavjee and Mr. Nicholson concluded that if the U.S. “have been to fold [the two technologies] into its pandemic technique alongside localized contact tracing, acceptable use of masks, focused testing and, presumably, a brand new Covid vaccine, we’d defend our important employees and start the method of safely reopening society.”
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