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Blood plasma treatment for corona virus.

New York: Diana Pirent has recovered from the emerging coronavirus, quarantined and is now eager to donate antibodies to researchers to help find a cure for Covid-19 disease.

On March 13, New York resident Diana woke up with 38.9 fever and a feeling of heaviness at chest level, becoming one of the first people diagnosed with Covid-19 disease in the Long Island area where she lives.

This week, the 45-year-old photographer became the first person to recover from the disease in her state, and is examining to see if he has enough antibodies in his blood to contribute to studies aimed at experimenting with a cure against the disease that has killed more than 53,000 people worldwide.

Plasma efficacy has been demonstrated in those recovering, which is part of the liquid blood in which antibodies are concentrated after a disease, in small-scale studies against other infectious diseases such as Ebola and SARS.

The US Food and Drug Agency has given approval to conduct experiments on such potential treatments against the emerging korna virus.

However, current experiments will not lead to magic solutions, says Bruce Sachias, the medical official for the Blood Donation Center in New York, who is charged with collecting plasma samples in the largest US city.

"We have to realize that we are ignorant of everything about it," he explains.

The specialists, Eldad Hood and Stephen Spitalnik, who oversee the experiments at Columbia University's Irving Hospital, stress this uncertainty.

"We suspect that seven to 14 days after the onset of infection, the patients develop an immune response and secrete large amounts of antibodies. But we do not know exactly when this production process reaches its climax," explains Spitalnik.

Some data indicate that the peak occurs 28 days after infection and it is hoped that their research will provide a clearer picture.

Doctor Hood stresses that each plasma donation "may save the lives of three to four people."

The goal is now to collect enough plasma so that researchers can conduct formal studies with a group of patients who will receive the plasma.

However, the first plasma samples will be directed to patients not included in the study, but other treatments have failed with them, Hood shows.

The researchers then want to try a new method on patients who have been hospitalized or are taking preventive treatment in more exposed settings than others, such as nursing homes.

In normal times, very rigorous and prolonged clinical trials leading to successful results "but now we are in the midst of a crisis" are conducted, Spitalnik explains.

Great opportunity

Diana Pirent hopes that this process will save lives.

"We may turn into superheroes," she says. "We are in an unprecedented and worrying stage where everything gets out of our control, but we survivors can help."

"We may be the people running towards the fire with a protective suit woven into our body. It is a wonderful opportunity, so how can we not take advantage of it?"

Her body contains enough antibodies, but she is still waiting for the results of a nose test to verify the absence of any trace of the Coronavirus in order to use her plasma in research.

It launched a Facebook group called "Source Corporation" with 17,000 members to mobilize the ranks of the epidemic survivors ready to share their immunity.

Hundreds of people who have recovered their aid in New York have offered the epidemic outbreak in the United States, with more than 100,000 cases, according to doctor Sachias.

Science will win

If the process is proven to be effective, similar plasma sampling mechanisms will be available at other donor centers, Sachias said.

A hospital in Houston, Texas, tried to transfer plasma from one cured patient to another seriously ill, but it was too early to tell the efficacy of the operation.

With the start of the study, Doctor Hood says that the positive aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic are that it has stimulated collaboration between researchers around the world who have never shared data in this way.

He adds, "Many in the scientific community are trying to put the" ego "aside (...) and work together for the common good and consider that science will win in the end."

Source / agencies