Old Treatment for New Disease-Blood Plasma from Recovering COVID-19 Patients

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Washington, March 25 (Prensa Latina) The United States authorized the use of a suggestion by a Cuban doctor residing in that country as a palliative against the Covid-19 epidemic, says a press report today.
Arturo Cassadeval, a Johns Hopkins researcher and native of the Cuban city of Santi Spíritus, addressed the problem in February in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal.
The specialist suggested that the use of plasma from patients who became ill with the virus could help contain the pandemic pending the discovery of a vaccine, something that could take between 12 and 18 months.

The new treatment was authorized Tuesday by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the entity that authorizes the use of new drugs, vaccines and other products related to public health in the country.

The FDA announced that this method may only be used in critically ill and life-threatening patients, and that doctors who administer it will also need to request prior authorization.

The COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project is made up of doctors and scientists from more than 20 institutions that have come together in recent weeks to deploy a formula to effectively combat the new coronavirus

The idea will be deployed in New York City, currently considered the epicenter of evil in the United States and which, according to recent figures, registers more than 25,600 infected by the virus.The suggestion, taking into account its good performance against the so-called Spanish flu of almost more than a century that killed millions of people, increases the considerations that an antidote to the pandemic or palliatives may be found in previous efforts against ills that hit the human race.

The current investigations were initiated at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore with the purpose of slowing down and treating patients with blood plasma from those who have already recovered from the disease.

According to Cassadeval, the treatment dates back centuries and was also used during the 1918 flu epidemic, a time when modern vaccines and antiviral drugs did not exist.

Mario Cuomo, Governor of New York, said this is a trial for people in serious condition, but the state Department of Health has been working on this with some of the best health care agencies in the city, and we think it is promising, and we are going to start that this week.

‘It is great news. When we started talking about this a few weeks ago, it was just an idea, and now it looks like it will come true,’said Casadevall, an infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Doctors from nearly two dozen hospitals joined the Johns Hopkins-led effort, including researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, the Stanford University Medical Center in California, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

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