Does UV Disinfection Work Against Measles?

Does UV Disinfection Work Against Measles?

Measles virus particles before UV disinfection kills them.
UV disinfection can inactivate measles virus particles.

UV disinfection is a good option for controlling the spread of germs in buildings. There are many diseases that can spread through airborne transmission, making the air you breathe dangerous. Even just one infected person in the space can leave behind germ particles that can infect many others, leading to serious disease outbreaks.

Unfortunately, there is really no practical way to prevent infected persons from entering your building. Often, people are contagious before they even show symptoms. Additionally, many people don’t realize the serious risks of congregating around others when they’re feeling under the weather.

Instead, UV disinfection is a good way to combat many contagious diseases in your building. Devices like our UVPhasor allow you to disinfect the air while people are in your building, making it an effective and continuous solution. One incredibly dangerous disease that commonly spreads through the air in indoor spaces is the measles. With UV disinfection, you can help protect people from measles outbreaks in your building. 

If you are looking for a way to kill airborne germs in your commercial building, contact us now to request pricing for our UVPhasor technology. 

UV Disinfection Is Pretty Effective Against the Measles Virus

UV disinfection works really well against the measles virus. As such, many buildings with high risk for measles transmission install UV disinfecting lights to help control this serious disease. The measles is a virus that primarily spreads through the air from people breathing, sneezing, talking, and coughing. People with the measles often experience many symptoms, including flu-like symptoms and a characteristic rash. People can catch the measles from respiratory droplets by being close to someone with measles or they can catch the disease from virus particles that float in the air. 

Measles is highly contagious and the virus can stay in the air after an infected person leaves for up to two hours, potentially infecting people for just as long. They can then pass the disease onto others, creating a dangerous snowball effect. What’s more, people can spread the disease for up to four days before and four days after the rash appears. As such, it can be difficult to prevent infected people from potentially spreading the disease in public buildings. Instead, UV disinfection solutions can help kill the virus before it can infect others. 

How UV Disinfection Works

UV light disinfection uses ultraviolet rays to damage germs like viruses and bacteria so they become harmless. You might think of this as “killing” a germ, but it’s actually called a process of germ inactivation. How it works is the ultraviolet-C radiation penetrates the germ causing irreparable damage, generally to proteins in the DNA and RNA as well as any protective outer layers the germ may have. The result is that the germ can’t infect people anymore, making it effectively harmless. Because this targets germ DNA, UV disinfection is really effective against practically any germ. In fact, it can kill more than 99.9% of germs. 

There are several types of UV disinfection, like surface disinfection and water disinfection. However, when it comes to the measles and other common illnesses that spread in buildings, it’s critical to talk about air disinfection. Our UVPhasor technology uses upper room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation. That’s a technical term for devices that emit ultraviolet light into the upper part of the air in an indoor space to kill airborne germs. As air contaminated with germs like viruses naturally floats to the top of the room, it enters the disinfection barrier zone where the germs get a lethal dose of UV light to inactivate them. Because the UV light is all well above people’s heads, it’s also completely harmless to use in occupied spaces. 

UV Light Disinfection Was Tested Against Measles Back in the 30s and 40s

One thing it’s important to note is that UV disinfection works well against measles. In fact, one of the original tests for upper room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation was done in schools to look at its effectiveness at killing the measles virus. Back in the 1930s and 1940s before the measles vaccine was invented, scientists installed UV lights in classrooms as indoor air disinfection solutions and then looked at measles cases for that group. The studies found that the ultraviolet lights helped reduce measles transmission among the children. So, you can use it effectively against this serious disease in your building.

Importance of Protecting Your Building Against Measles

So, why is it important to consider measles risk for your building and take steps to reduce it? Well, outbreaks are becoming more common, it’s one of the most contagious diseases, and it can also cause really bad consequences, particularly among vulnerable children. 

Outbreaks are Becoming More Common

As you may or may not remember, measles was officially eradicated in the U.S. back in 2000 because of high vaccination rates. However, it’s actually had a resurgence and outbreaks seem to be increasing. In fact, 2019 had the highest reported number of measles cases since 1992. We’ve seen outbreaks even in places with pretty good vaccination rates. Therefore, it’s definitely a concern that is growing. 

Measles is One of the Most Contagious Diseases

Additionally, keep in mind that measles is one of the most contagious diseases that we know about. In fact, it may be the most contagious virus we have. For everyone who is not immune to the measles that are exposed to the virus, about 90% will become infected. This is a seriously high infection rate. So, even just one person in your building with the measles can spread it to a lot of people. 

Measles Can Have Serious Consequences

Also, keep in mind that measles can be really dangerous. Of people who get the disease, an estimated 20% will be hospitalized. Some serious complications from the disease include pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). Additionally, many people can die from measles outbreaks. Of every 1,000 children who get the measles, approximately two to three of them die and one suffers complications that can cause permanent brain damage. Because of these consequences, it’s essential to consider how to combat this disease in your building. 

Buildings with High Risk for Measles Transmission that Need UV Disinfection Solutions

While you can catch measles basically anywhere, there are certain areas that may have a higher risk. Since the disease commonly affects children, this includes schools and daycares. Additionally, a lot of measles outbreaks start with international travel where the disease is more common, so airports are also a common ground zero for infection. Finally, let’s not forget healthcare facilities which are another common source for measles transmission among both patients and staff. Therefore, these buildings should certainly take action to mitigate measles transmission risks, which can include indoor air disinfection solutions with UV light. 

Indoor Air Disinfection Solutions from Farlite

Protect your building today with UV light disinfection. Our technology from Farlite uses ultraviolet light to disinfect the air in your building to reduce the risk of 99.9% of germs, including measles, influenza, and COVID-19. Using UVPhasors throughout your building, you can take a stand against airborne germs to reduce disease transmission risks. Our devices are some of the most sophisticated on the market, offering condition monitoring to optimize disinfection rates and device health. Get in touch now to learn more and request a custom proposal for your building.