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Anchor lead: In the rather bleak landscape of COVID-19, convalescent plasma emerges as a bright spot, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Convalescent plasma treatment, where antibodies in the blood of someone who has recovered from COVID-19 are given to hospitalized people with the disease, seems to help many patients with COVID-19 infection, and now the FDA is poised to make recommendations regarding its use. Arturo Casadevall, an expert in antibody treatment of infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins, says this story should give everyone hope.
Casadevall: The one thing the United States has done right is plasma. This was an effort that came out of doctors, physicians. There was no government help. this was a grass roots effort. So our society cannot control this thing at least have built within it this capacity for self-association, and mobilization, and we were able to do it. I think the regulators, and to their credit, with caution, they would like to be able to put out a directive. :27
Casadevall says that while history has supported the use of convalescent plasma for several infectious diseases, the studies were never done to prove its efficacy, but the current pandemic has allowed that to happen. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.