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    Blood plasma to cure COVID-19?

    MANILA, Philippines – With around one million people were infected and more than 50,000 coronavirus-related deaths globally, researchers and medical experts are now looking to develop blood-related therapies for COVID-19.

    Blood-related therapies to cure COVID-19?
    Blood-related therapies are not yet proven but scientists hope the antibody-rich plasma, collected from people who have recovered from the disease, will boost patients' immune response to the virus. Photo Credit: The Korea Times

    Data from predictive models shows that the pandemic has not yet peaked and sadly, the vaccines are still a long way from being available for public use. As part of the response to this crisis, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) facilitated investigational therapies derived from human blood.

    FDA said the convalescent plasma and hyperimmune globulin are antibody-rich blood products made from blood donated by people who have recovered from the virus. The products can be administered to individuals diagnosed with COVID-19.

    "There are some limited data to suggest that convalescent plasma and hyperimmune globulin may have benefit in the COVID-19 illness. This is why evaluation of these therapies in the context of a clinical trial and expanded access program is so important," FDA said in a statement.

    If you had watched the 2013 South Korean film "The Flu", you would recall that antibodies derived from blood transfusion from a Filipino character served as cure to the outbreak of a deadly strain. Currently, the country is also exploring plasma-based treatment to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients. Kwon Jun-wook, deputy director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said China had reported successful treatment of cases with this method.

    To fight a virus, the immune system develops antibodies, proteins that bind to parts of the virus and impede the infection. Convalescent plasma, also called passive antibody therapy, is a type of passive immunity.

    In the Philippines, the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) is calling for COVID-19 survivors to donate blood for the hospital’s experimental treatment for patients with severe symptoms of the coronavirus disease.


    PGH, which is one of the country’s referral hospitals for COVID-19 patients, asked help from the fully recovered patients to contact Dr. Sandy Maganito via 09178053207 for the donations.

    “Now we thought about this because in the past, convalescent plasma taken from a person who has recovered from an infection and contain neutralizing antibodies were found to be helpful in other pandemics,” Dr. Jonas Del Rosario, PGH spokesperson, told ABS-CBN News.

    As of April 4, the Department of Health reported five more people were cleared of coronavirus infection, for a total of 57 recoveries. Meanwhile, nationwide death toll rose to 144 from the 3,094 total cases.

    — The Summit Express

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