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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Will Black Light Detect Viruses?

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FluMom View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 16 2014 at 5:21pm
For all you medical people like DrPH...Will a black light detect viruses on surfaces: ie...cans at the grocery store, handle of door to a very busy area, grocery store basket handle?

I want to know this because I will buy a travel black light if you say it will detect viruses.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2014 at 5:38pm
As far as I know it can detect some fungal infections of the skin.  I am not aware of any other diagnostic advantage.  Some viruses are killed by UV light.
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hazelpad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2014 at 5:55pm
Technophobe....UV light in Scotland...your kidding. Not seen any of that around these parts for a while. In the words of William Wallace ..It's fine Scottish weather we're having. The rain is falling straight down and kind of to the side like.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote onefluover Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2014 at 6:06pm
Interesting question since I am a Certified Laser Specialist and know a thing or three about light waves but unfortunately I don't know the answer to that. But I will say that there are certainly so many other things a black light will illuminate that if you did, you may have a tough time distinguishing what is what.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FluMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2014 at 7:36pm
Sorry guys I meant UV lights! UV detects body fluids so will it detect viruses?

Ok what I am trying to get at can terrorists take Ebola body fluids and put them in a medium spread them in public places?

You say they would die well they blow themselves up all the time.

So I am trying to forward think and see if there would be a way to detect a virus or since it comes from body fluid would it show up under UV light?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hazelpad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 17 2014 at 4:51am
While it is true some bacteria such as salmonella do fluoresce under UV/ black light, not aware if any viruses do. The background would probably have to much noise (artifacts). Many cleaning products can fluoresce as they have brightening agents. Cocaine also glows. We use UV to sterilise our safety cabinets after use, but that takes 15 mins.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote onefluover Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 17 2014 at 7:50am
Hopefully only Pepsi on those. Joking.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Humphrey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 01 2014 at 9:40am
UV light shows bacteria, it can kill some viruses. Viruses are much smaller than bacteria. In fact, some viruses infect bacteria. They exist on very different scales. Seeing them with the naked eye would be basically impossible. Bacteria are complex, they have cell walls and form little communities. Viruses don't really do that.

One way might be to have a small electronic device, like a diabetes meter, which could take a quick blood sample and instantly diagnose. The mechanizm of detecting viruses like Ebola, I don't know. I suspect they must have some unique property you could isolate and look for.
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