COVID-19 question of the day: “Can sunlight kill coronavirus?”


MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Call the WKRG News 5 coronavirus hotline when you have a question about COVID. The number is 251-662-3055. Just leave us a message and we’ll do our best to answer your question on News 5 at 10.

The question for May 28 is:
“What if someone who doesn’t travel much but you go out if you come home and you leave your mask on the dash in the sunlight, does that help sterilize the mask?”

There is a growing notion that sunlight can kill the virus on face masks, but medical experts say that is simply not true.

“All viruses, bacteria, organic elements, they will with time with heat with sunlight exposure die, dissipate. However, the thought that sunlight can kill the virus on a mask is wrong. Now some people may think of UV light and yeah the sun does have UV light but it’s a particular wavelength that can kill certain microbes or organisms such as viruses,” said Dr. Adrian DiVittorio with Infirmary Health Diagnostic and Medical Clinic.

If you’re using a cloth mask, putting it in your washer and dryer after each use should kill any germs that may be on them. It’s also a good idea to have at least one backup mask, especially as temperatures rise outside. You don’t want to wear a wet mask wet due to sweat or anything else. Dr. DiVittorio says think of doing that like having a wet towel over your face– it would make breathing very difficult.

Also, according to the World Health Organization, exposing yourself to the sun or to a temperature higher than 77-degrees Fahrenheit does not prevent nor cure COVID-19.


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