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South Coast Researchers Part Of International Team Looking At UV Radiation Impacts On COVID-19

(KCLU photo)
Sunset as seen from the Pt. Mugu area

UV radiation has become known as one of our enemies in recent year, because overexposure can lead to skin cancer.  But, some UC Santa Barbara researchers say it could be an unexpected ally in efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kyle Meng is an environmental economist at UC Santa Barbara.  Meng is part of an international research team using statistical data to try to assess the sensitivity of COVID-19 to UV exposure.

Meng says the research used a mountain of data collected from around the world.

They factored in variables like UV radiation, temperature, humidity, and precipitation.   Meng says they concluded that a region’s UV radiation plays a key role in COVID-19 transmission.

The researcher says the information could play a factor in policies to deal with the virus.

Meng says the team includes Tamma Carlton from UCSB, as well as Harvard and French researchers. 

The study’s findings were published in the scientific journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.