If you’re infected with COVID when should you seek medical care? Elizabeth Tracey reports
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A treatment known as convalescent plasma, which is basically antibodies from someone who’s already recovered from COVID, can help in early COVID infection, but the caveat is early. Arturo Casadevall, a convalescent plasma expert at Johns Hopkins, says for people with certain health conditions, seeking early treatment is a wise idea.
Casadevall: The public needs to know that there are therapies available that work best if you seek early care. So if one is diabetic, if one has hypertension, if one has lung disease, it’s better to seek help when you have symptoms than to wait until you call EMS to come bring you in. Doctors in the emergency room, plasma can only be given to hospitalized patients, so once you make that decision to admit, that is the time to give them plasma. :29
Casadevall and colleagues have recently linked increased rates of death due to COVID to reduced use of convalescent plasma, a treatment he calles largely safe and cost-effective. He hopes people will ask their physicians about it. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.