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The Invisible Threat of Asymptomatic Covid 19 Infections. Can We Break the Chain Using UVGI Solutions?

Posted on April 15, 2021 The Invisible Threat of Asymptomatic Covid 19 Infections. Can We Break the Chain Using UVGI Solutions?

Asymptomatic Carrier: What does it mean for Covid-19?

The novel coronavirus is rapidly spreading globally and has put the entire world on standby. Despite following strict measures of hand washing and social distancing, the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing COVID-19 has been impossible to contain. The majority of people infected by coronavirus will develop mild to moderate respiratory illness which will usually recover without any treatment. However, this disease can cause serious complications in elderly people and people with underlying medical problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases, and cancer. 

With time, we are learning more about the virus as it continues to evolve. Earlier it was thought that only people showing symptoms such as cough, high fever, or breathing difficulty was possibly infected by SARS-CoV-2 and could spread the disease through contact. But this has been proven wrong by recent studies. Even people showing no symptoms may spread the virus through contact transmission. Hence, while we have to maintain a safe distance from people showing flu-like symptoms, we also have to be aware that asymptomatic carriers can spread the disease. At times like this, it is getting unsafe to work in offices and go to places like shopping malls, restaurants. The invisible threat of Covid 19 looms large.

Here are a few things that are now known about asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers:

1. Asymptomatic Cases Are Everywhere

Recently, according to the analysis done by the health ministry, it was concluded that 80 per cent of Indian COVID-19 patients in the country are asymptomatic or have shown very mild symptoms over the past few months. In Sero-survey studies done at offices, stations, malls and other hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad and now Andhra Pradesh, the results show that majority of the people who were surveyed had some antibodies in their system, highlighting that they had come in contact with the virus at some point of time without their knowledge and inadvertently had been super-spreaders of Covid 19.

2. Asymptomatic Carriers Include People of All Ages

According to recent studies, it is being concluded that children also seem to play a much bigger role in the silent spread of COVID-19 than originally thought. Recent studies and data of coronavirus show that asymptomatic patients include people of all ages. WHO Western Pacific regional director, Takeshi Kasai in a virtual press briefing for the month of August said, “The epidemic is changing. People in their 20s, 30s and 40s are increasingly driving the spread. Many are unaware they are infected. This increases the risk of spillover to the more vulnerable people out there.”

3. Asymptomatic Patients Carry A Lot of Virus In Their Bodies

Recently in a study of over 200 patients with SARS-CoV-2 virus in Telangana, Indian scientists have observed a higher association between asymptomatic COVID-19 cases and viral load or the amount of virus in an infected person’s bodily fluid, The researchers, including those from the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD) in Hyderabad, advise testing asymptomatic primary and secondary contacts followed by surveillance now as an essential protocol in India’s fight against coronavirus.

Apart from this study, even a recent study from South Korea found that asymptomatic and symptomatic people carry a similar viral load in their bodies, which is the amount of virus located in throats and noses that indicate asymptomatic people could potentially spread the coronavirus just as readily as those with symptoms.

How many people don’t experience any symptoms after becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2? And what is their role in spreading COVID-19? These have been key questions since the beginning of the pandemic.

Can We Break The Chain?

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers(ASHRAE) recommends that building managers, institutions, offices and owners consider UVGI (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation) to reduce the impact of novel coronavirus. They also recognize the importance of protecting occupants from radiation, particularly in high-risk spaces such as offices, factories, shopping malls, food courts and hospitals. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) is a disinfection method that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet (ultraviolet C or UV-C) light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, leaving them unable to perform vital cellular functions. UVGI is used in a variety of applications, such as food, air, and water purification.

Because of the risks of exposure to human cells, UVGI is especially useful in unoccupied spaces and is already used in some offices and factories after employees have left for the day. Much of the recent innovation has been aimed at designing systems to use UV-C safely for sanitizing the air and surfaces of spaces that are filled with people. Some possible target locations include high touch and traffic areas in:

  • Fitness centres
  • Hospitals
  • Warehouse distribution centres
  • Museums
  • Foodservice areas
  • Event venues
  • Shared office spaces
  • Conference facilities

A new study published in Indoor Air magazine provides design-based solutions on how to best use ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) to disinfect occupied rooms without harming individuals. This research was conducted by Dorit Aviv, assistant professor of architecture and director of the Thermal Architecture Lab at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design, Penn visiting scholar Miaomiao Hou, and Jovan Pantelic, an air quality expert at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. He also added that “HVAC modifications, combined with other prevention strategies, will go a long way toward minimizing the coronavirus’ spread and protecting a building’s occupants.”

With new research stating that SARS-CoV-2 – which is causing COVID-19 – can remain infectious for up to 3 hours as it floats in aerosol droplets less than 5 microns, moving beyond the standard disinfectants and sanitization is important. ASHRAE recommends the following strategies of interest to address disease transmission: dilution ventilation, laminar and other in-room flow regimes, differential room pressurization, personalized ventilation, source capture ventilation, filtration (central or unitary), and UVGI (upper room, in-room, and in the air-stream).

Alfaa UV’s Role in Breaking the Chain

Alfaa UV, a company with more than 2 decades of experience in UV technology, offers UVGI solutions for surfaces, upper air and HVAC applications. In the present times, UVGI solutions offered by Alfaa UV have been used to mitigate the risk of rapid infections within closed spaces. Here we talk about the HVAC solution which has a wide impact and applicability.

Alfaa UV’s Ultra Coil and Ultra Duct UVGI systems use world-class UVC lamps and unmatched Reflector Technology with UL Certification to ensure that all air passing through the system is disinfected as it re-circulates in indoor spaces. The design ensures 100% exposure of the air to the UVC system. The UltraCoil UVGI system not only fights viruses to create safer spaces but also ensures cleaner cooling coils, resulting in greater efficiency and lower running and maintenance costs.


Installing a proper UVGI system in front of the coil in an HVAC air handling unit, kills disease-causing microorganisms, and does not allow a biofilm to grow. A clean coil decreases the pressure drop across the coil which results in the following:

  • Reduction in microbial counts>15 %
  • Increase in the thermal efficiency
  • Energy-saving >10%
  • Helps in Covid 19 Protection


Due to humidity and hospitable environment microorganisms grows rapidly on cooling coils. These microorganisms produce sticky substances due to which a thick layer of dust sticks to the coil which results in poor heat transfer between coil and air. Poor heat transfer between coil and air leads to greater energy consumption.

Benefits of UltraDuct

  • Improves air quality
  • Helps to eliminate Poor Building Syndrome
  • Increases the life of HEPA filters
  • Helps to eliminate cross-contamination
  • Scientifically designed systems are sized using our proprietary sizing tools based on extensive research
  • Computational flow dynamics (CFD) and UV radiation profile modelling data.
  • Can target specific bacteria /virus as per need
  • Scientifically engineered lamp positioning to provide optimum UV dose delivery and maximum kill rate
  • Helps Sars Covid Protection

Watch this video for more information about the process and the product to see how these UVGI systems work

There are many reasons to choose Alfaa UV’s UltraDuct and UltraCoil UVGI solutions for your air disinfection in Commercial and Industrial areas. To know about how we can help you create a COVID free space, call us today on 9833516650 / 8879336026 or visit us at UVGI Air Disinfection

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