NEW YORK: Blood donation centres across the United States will collect plasma from people who have recovered from the deadly COVID-19 that will be used for treating others infected with the pandemic disease.
AABB, an international non-profit agency focused on transfusion medicine and cellular therapies, has issued a new set of guidelines under which dozens of community blood centres in US will collect plasma from COVID-19 survivors that would become a key source for the century-old treatment known as convalescent plasma therapy.
According to NBC report, the convalescent plasma therapy uses blood products taken from people who have recovered from a viral infection and injects them into those still suffering.
The practice was used during the devastating 1918 flu, as well as to treat measles in the 1930s. In recent years, plasma therapy been used to treat victims of Ebola, SARS and H1N1 influenza. Recent studies suggest that using the plasma help in reducing symptoms and death in past outbreaks to some extent. However, its true efficacy has not been proved in rigorous clinical trials as yet
In the current COVID-19 outbreak, anecdotal evidence from China shows that passive antibody therapy appears to help sick patients fight off COVID-19 until they can develop antibodies on their own. Given that there’s no treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, experts say there is no harm in using this option.
The new guidelines come a week after the federal Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of convalescent plasma by doctors for individual patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.
This holds significance sine the number of confirmed global cases of coronavirus infections and fatalities due to the deadly virus has seen a rapid escalation in the past 24 hours, with over 1 lakh new cases reported in the past 24 hours.
According to the data provided by the Johns Hopkins University, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose by over 1 lakh from 8 to 9 lakh in just 24 hours. The spread of the deadly virus, since it first originated in China, has reached 205 countries now, it said.
More than 900,000 cases of coronavirus have been officially detected worldwide since the pandemic emerged in China late last year, according to Johns Hopkins University. As of now, there are 937,170 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 47,235 fatalities globally.
According to the latest figures, the US has crossed 2 lakh and Spain 1 lakh. Italy crossed 1 lakh cases Wednesday evening. The US now has 216,515 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 5,119 deaths. Italy with 110,574 detected cases has the highest number of fatalities with 13,155 deaths. Spain has 102,136 cases including 9,053 deaths and China has 81,554 cases and 3,312 deaths.
The death toll from COVID-19 in the US jumped by 884 over the past 24 hours, setting a new one-day record for the country, according to Johns Hopkins University. US President Donald Trump has launched an all-out war to defeat the "horrible" coronavirus.
The World Health Organization said on Wednesday it was deeply concerned about the near-exponential escalation of the new coronavirus pandemic, with the number of deaths doubling in a week. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged citizens around the globe to stand together to fight COVID-19, as he braced for the millionth confirmed case.
Since emerging in China in December, COVID-19 has spread across the globe, claiming more than 43,000 lives, and infecting more than 860,000 people, according to an AFP tally of officially confirmed cases. The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 30,000 people in Europe alone. Italy and Spain account for three in every four deaths on the continent. However, the virus is expected to gain a greater foothold in parts of the world that have not, so far, seen such large numbers of cases and deaths.