NY testing COVID-19 survivors' blood as boost for the infected

Eloise Marshall
March 26, 2020

The federal Food and Drug Administration gave the state approval to run trials of hydroxychloroquine and zithromax on patients who are in serious condition.

The blood therapy dates back to the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, but hasn't been put into widespread use in the United States for decades.

Hospitals are gearing up to test if a century-old treatment used to fight off flu and measles outbreaks in the days before vaccines, and tried more recently against SARS and Ebola, just might work for COVID-19, too: using blood donated from patients who've recovered.

The method - essentially harvesting virus-fighting antibodies from the blood of previously infected patients - was associated with milder symptoms and shorter hospital stays for some patients during the 2002 SARS outbreak. Some experts have argued that it might be the best hope for combating the coronavirus until more sophisticated therapies can be developed, which could take several months. In addition, some doctors in China also injected plasma for critically ill patients, and the results appear promising, according to initial studies.

The FDA also said it is working with the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop larger protocols for use by multiple researchers to coordinate the collection and use of COVID-19 plasma. "It is therefore important to determine through clinical trials, before routinely administering convalescent plasma to patients with COVID-19, that it is safe and effective to do so".

READ: $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill
Baldwin said they are hoping to do a voice vote in the House, as coordinating 435 members is a lot more hard than 100 senators. And the legislation will provide direct payments to most Americans and significantly bolster unemployment insurance benefits.


"The FDA is working with medical product developersto rapidly advance the development and availability of vaccines and treatments for COVID-19".

NY state health officials said they will start identifying patients to donate their blood, focusing on the New Rochelle area where there is the highest concentration of recovered cases.

In the state of NY, one of the most hit by the virus, its governor, Andrew Cuomo, has already announced that this week the first steps will be taken to start using this method.

"It's only a trial", Cuomo said Monday.

The state Health Department will begin experimental coronavirus drug trials on Tuesday.

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