Doctors believe ‘passive immunization’ can work for COVID-19 like it did for deadly diseases in the past. Here’s how

The purified blood plasma therapy was also used to treat patients during epidemics of the Ebola and avian flu.

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covid

When it comes to producing new Covid-19 treatments, the infection caused by the novel coronavirus, the first thing that comes to experts’ minds, is a century-old technology: purified blood plasma.

Medical research published during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 includes case studies describing how the transference of blood products obtained from survivors may have contributed to a 50 percent reduction in death among severely ill patients.

More recently, the purified blood plasma therapy was used to treat patients during epidemics of the Ebola and avian flu.

Here is all you need to know about how this old technology might help slow the coronavirus outbreak:

Patients who have recovered from the disease have permanent antibodies generated by the immune system floating in their blood plasma, the liquid component of blood. To turn that into a cure, the plasma is collected, tested for safety, and purified.

When injected into a critical patient, the “plasma-derived therapy,” also known as convalescent plasma, provides “passive immunity” until the critical patient’s immune system can generate its own antibodies.

The head of the WHO’s emergency program, Mike Ryan, has said that “the convalescent plasma is a ‘significant area to pursue’ as a potential treatment for patients with the coronavirus.”

Medical experts in Pakistan

Medical experts in Pakistan have also suggested the use of the convalescent plasma method to the government. The Dean of the National Institute of Blood Diseases in Karachi, Dr. Tahir Shamsi, recently came up with the proposal.

Shamsi said, “Doctors in China have used the method on corona patients and have had very positive results, which they have published for doctors around the world.”

Dr. Tahir Shamsi further said, “A model has been submitted to the government regarding the treatment and its use. The government has agreed to use the method.”

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