As scientists struggle to find the cure against the novel Coronavirus, an ongoing study seems to have a positive result in limited cases. Ten COVID 19 patients are on their path to recovery, thanks to a dose of COVID-19 antibodies taken from those who have already recovered from the disease.
For the 10 patients, as the research suggests, a single dose of antibodies taken from the blood of those who had recovered from COVID-19 appeared to be a life saver. The antibodies were able to shorten the duration of symptoms, improve oxygen levels as well as speed up viral clearance.
The “pilot study” was conducted at three hospitals in China, as its preliminary findings were published in the journal PNAS, the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences.
For those unaware, such a practice of using immune antibodies from recovered people to treat active patients is called convalescent plasma therapy. In the past, the therapy has been used as a cure for polio, measles, mumps and even flu. In fact, the method proves to be much more effective than other forms of treatment as patients getting convalescent plasma appeared to recover more quickly and completely than patients who did not.
Citing the lack of a vaccine, the treatment has now been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an experimental treatment in clinical trials and more importantly, for critical patients without other options.
Findings of the study
Some interesting findings have been highlighted in the new study. Quoting the example of a 46-year-old male patient, the study notices a complete elimination of the COVID-19 virus from the host’s body by a single dose of the aforementioned convalescent plasma within one day. The patient also recorded much rapid decline in symptoms within four days of the infusion
Similar observations were recorded for 10 different patients. The list included a 49-year-old woman with no underlying illness but undergoing an acute case of COVID-19 as well as a 50-year-old male tested negative for infection 25 days after his first symptoms appeared.
Interestingly, none of the ten patients died through the convalescent plasma treatment. Only one unexpected side effect was detected on one patient’s face in the form of a red bruise. Other than that, all the major symptoms that had driven these patients to seek emergency help were gone in some days.
The author of the study, however, suggest that more detailed studies should be carried out on the treatment and only then can we determine its optimum dosage and the conditions in which it has to be administered.
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