Increased exposure to sunlight can lower COVID-19 death risk, says study

Sun Online Desk

12th April, 2021 02:38:09 printer

Increased exposure to sunlight can lower COVID-19 death risk, says study

 

The second wave of the novel coronavirus has wreaked havoc in our lives all over again. While the vaccination drive is going on in full swing, we still need to be as cautious as we were before.

Even the people who have been vaccinated should follow all the COVID-19 guidelines to stay safe.

Can you get COVID-19 even after getting the vaccine?

Meanwhile, a new study has found that increased exposure to sunlight can be a simple public health intervention to prevent COVID-19 deaths.

Sunnier regions linked with fewer COVID-19 deaths

People living in the sunnier areas with the highest level of exposure to UV-A rays are linked with fewer deaths from coronavirus as compared to those exposed to lower levels of UV-A, say the experts from the University of Edinburgh.

What is UV-A radiation?

UV-A radiation makes up for 95 per cent of the sun's ultraviolet light and penetrates deep into the skin, all the way into the inner layers. While UV-C radiation has proved effective against the novel coronavirus, the wavelength does not reach the earth's surface.

The study published in the British Journal of Dermatology compared all recorded deaths from COVID-19 in the continental US from January to April 2020 with UV levels for 2,474 US countries for the same time period. The analysis was thereafter repeated in England and Italy with the same results.

The only areas with insufficient levels of UV-B were included in the study.

Older studies have reported that rapid sunlight inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 in a lab setting, but more recent theory have concluded that UV-B radiation alone may not explain sunlight inactivation of the novel coronavirus.

The explanation behind the theory

Researchers attributed the lower number of COVID-19 deaths to nitrous oxide, which is released by the skin upon sunlight exposure. The chemical compound may reduce the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to replicate, as has been found by some lab studies.

Previous studies have established a link between increased sunlight exposure and improved cardiovascular health, with lower blood pressure and fewer heart attacks. Heart disease is a known risk factor for drying from COVID-19, which explains the latest findings.

(Times of India)


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