How Many COVID Virions Does it Take to Make You Sick?

How Many COVID Virions Does it Take to Make You Sick?

COVID-19 virion that can cause infection and make people sick.
COVID-19 virions infect your cells to make you sick, but UV light disinfection can inactivate them so they’re no longer contagious.

COVID-19 has been devastating for people throughout the world, with many of us looking for solutions to protect ourselves and others from the disease. Many have quickly realized that COVID may be here for the long-haul, so it’s important to search for answers to key questions about COVID infection, like how many virions it takes to make people sick. Research is still ongoing, but a recent study suggests that just 22 pounds of COVID-19 virions may be responsible for 173 million infections and 3.72 million deaths from the COVID pandemic. Therefore, it may take a very small amount of the virus to make people sick. This is one of the reasons to consider UV light disinfection solutions in your building – to kill virus particles before they can infect people in your building. 

Fight back against COVID – contact us today to get customized UV disinfection solutions for airborne germs in your facility. 

What are COVID Virions? How Do They Make You Sick?

When you become infected by a virus like COVID-19, it’s a virus particle called a virion that is responsible. Virions are small cells that contain the DNA or the RNA of the virus protected by a shell of proteins. These virions live outside of the host cell and go looking for other cells to infect. It’s what most of us actually think of when we think of the word “virus.” 

The virion is what enters your cells and takes over, with the goal of replicating and spreading to more and more cells. Your body then fights the cells infected by the virus, which is what makes you sick. After you’re infected, generally you’ll also shed more virions that can make others sick. One of the most common ways COVID-19 virion particles spread is through airborne droplets when you breathe or cough. 

How Many Virions Does it Take to Infect Someone with COVID-19?

Now, you might be wondering how many virions it takes to get you sick. Each illness is different. However, each requires a certain virion exposure “load” for infection. The same is true with COVID-19. Research is still ongoing because it’s such a new disease, but one article by Dr. Charles Dinerstein, the Medical Director for the American Council on Science and Health, looked into the question of how many virions it takes to infect someone with COVID-19

Dinerstein looked at several studies on rhesus macaques infected with COVID-19, as they are a close relative to humans. Using the information gleaned from the studies, the researchers estimated that it only takes 100 virions in 10,000 of our cells (which is only 0.0001% of all the cells in our bodies) to make us ill. 

Using this information, Dinerstein looked at the numbers to determine that just 22 pounds of COVID-19 virions, about the average weight of a sledge hammer, is responsible for worldwide estimates of 173 million infections and 3.72 million deaths from COVID, numbers from 2021 when the article was published. Therefore, an incredibly small amount of COVID-19 virions can cause serious infections that can make people ill and even cause death. 

Kill Virions and Protect People in Your Facility with UV Light Disinfection Solutions

What does all this have to do with UV disinfection? UV light disinfection devices can actually inactivate or “kill” virion particles that float through the air. UV light does this by attacking the protein shells as well as the DNA or RNA in virions, making them no longer infectious. 

With continuous disinfection using UV lights, you can actually reduce the number of COVID-19 virions in your building’s air. This can reduce exposure and cut down on how many people get sick in your facility. Therefore, investing in UV light disinfection solutions can seriously help fight COVID and keep people safe when they’re inside your building.

Contact Farlite for UVPhasors to Fight COVID and Other Germs

Our team at Farlite Solutions offers advanced technologies to fight airborne germs in your building through UVPhasors. UVPhasors offer a continuous and autonomous UV light disinfection solution for the air in your building. Using decades of scientific research on UV disinfection, our devices actively attack germ particles as they float into the disinfection barrier zone to kill germs and reduce risks for everyone in your building. Become Farlite Protected today to fight illnesses that can harm your employees and customers. Contact us now for a custom proposal for UV disinfection solutions in your facility.