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Blood plasma reduces symptoms and fatalities in outbreaks of coronavirus.

The US blood donation centers are making unarguable efforts to collect plasma from COVID-19 patients who have recovered from the disease. They are hoping to use it to save the life of those who are still infected with this disease.
According to the guidelines released on Tuesday by AABB, an international nonprofit agency focused on transfusion medicine and cellular therapies, many community blood centers located nationwide could be an important source for this Old treatment method known as Convalescent plasma therapy.
In this treatment method, Blood products are taking from patients who survived this viral disease, and it’s been injected into those that are still infected. This experimental practice has a history of been used in the 1930s to treat measles. In the 1918s, during the disastrous flu, recently, this plasma therapy has been used to treat those infected with H1N1 influenza, SARS and Ebola.
Clinical researches have shown that the use of plasma offers some hope and reduces symptoms and fatalities in past outbreaks of coronavirus.
In the recent surge of COVID-19, unproven evidence from china has shown that passive antibody treatment has helped COVID-19 patients until they were able to develop their natural antibodies that can fight off the disease.
This procedure is a promising one to try given that there’s no treatment or vaccine for COVID-19, experts say.
“There’s nothing else out there,” said Dr. Louis Katz, an expert in the blood industry, leading the AABB’s working group on Convalescent plasma.
The new guidelines were made a week later after the Federal Food and Drug Administration authorized the immediate use of Convalescent plasma by doctors for critically ill COVID-19 patients. 
The first medical center to use this therapy is the Houston Methodist Hospital, and they have been able to treat two COVID-19 patients since Saturday, says a spokesman. The results are pending.
The New York blood center and some other sites have begun the collection of plasma since last week from patients who have recovered from this pandemic infection, and a few clinical trials have started to test this convalescent plasma for COVID-19.  The American Red Cross has organized a site to collect information about potential plasma donors.
As the AABB join the effort with America’s Blood Centers, a new rollout could develop the practice exponentially, said Katz.
“This is all the medicine on the fly, right?” we don’t have the randomized controlled trials. We’re going to do our best that we can,” said Katz.
At community blood centers, the plasma will be collected from COVID-19 survivor donors with a lab-confirmed test; these donors must have tested negative and stopped experiencing symptoms for over 28days, according to the guidelines.
Several research laboratories and medical companies are trying effortlessly to detect the antibodies that fight the virus. It may be hard for some blood centers to access the test at first, says Katz.
Meanwhile, centers will be allowed to collect plasma from COVID-19 survivor donors, and it will be administered to “Critically ill patient as quickly a possible” and then test for antibody titers later, Said the FDA spokesman on Tuesday.
This will make a great difference in the potential amount of plasma collected from COVID-19 survivors. Said Katz. “We can go the whole hog, now that we have such an accommodating stance from the agency”, he also said.
Felberbaum noted that an emergency investigational new drug or e-IND, authorization is required to transfuse convalescent plasma into patients, but not to distribute it after collecting it from the donor. According to him, the FDA has granted “numerous” requests for emergency INDs and continues to grant them as they are received.
Seattle-area blood center, Bloodworks Northwest, is working effortlessly with the National institutes of health and the University of Washington to start harvesting plasma from victims who have recovered from COVID-19. These donations will become a part of a research study co-led by a professor of medicine, Dr. Terry Gernsheimer, at UW school of medicine. They will also be recorded in a national registry being created to track the result of the plasma therapy, says Dr. Rebecca Haley, a medical director of Bloodworks Bio that produces biological products.
There is a high expectancy of interest among those who have suffered through the global infection.
Dr. Jon Peters is a 66 years old family practice physician in Portland who is also a victim of the Pandemic infection. Although he’s at home and still experiencing symptoms, he plans to donate plasma and get back to work as soon as his symptoms subside and once he’s able to do so.
There is a very low-risk issue or complication for the donor but could be a lifesaver to someone out there, he said.
It is good to know that “at this point, they require every option they can get” hence, this therapy can offer a solution to this ravenous pandemic.

Bats Carry Corona Virus. So Why Don’t They Get Sick?

A lot of viruses that has taken a toll on life, the ebola virus in Africa, The Nipah virus of Nipah and the most recent one corona virus that left china running helter skelter all seemed to have originated from bats. During the course of the virus epidemic in Wuhan where it was first detected, some Chinese researchers in Wuhan examined some patients affected in that area and then took samples of the virus.
They did findings on the genetic sequence of the virus with other viruses that were known. The corona virus surprisingly had a 96% match with the horseshoe bats that are dominant in the southwest of china. The research findings were then published in a study on February, 2020.
A virologist Vineet Menachery from the university of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston though not affiliated to the study said “They’re too close in terms of their pure genetics to say they’re not related, or that they didn’t have a common ancestor.”
Menachery was a reputable virologist and had done other research works. He contributed to the theory that the spread of the corona virus must have been from these bats to humans. And possibly must have had another animal that served as an intermediary for the spread.
This same thing had happened with other forms of corona viruses as noted in the case of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) an outbreak that took place in 2002-2003 where civets, a mongoose family member were infected with the bat corona virus and spread as humans bought them for food.
Another case was the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak. This one happened in 2012 and was as a result of infected camels from the virus. People who ate undercooked meat of camels and as well drank the raw milk of camels were all affected.
So why is it that there are so many diseases that are spread from bats?
Its no doubt, bats have a lot of viruses that they carry with them. And these viruses in their variety are spread and manifests its tolls on people. Scientist are not sure why this is the case as confirmed by Kevin Olival, a research vice president as EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit organization based in the U.S. He went further to say that it may have something to do with the family of the viruses carried by the bats. So you know, there are over 130 different families of viruses that bats do carry around.
And then, most bats and humans do come in contact through several means. The millions of populations of bats are ubiquitous to all the continents apart from in antartica. Rebekah of Colorado State university who researched infectious pathogens said “There’s a lot of viruses we’re finding in bats because there’s a lot of bats out there.”
They move about in multitudes and live in colonies of large populations. Some these members live in caves and share caves and trees where there can be a contact between humans and bats. Hence, these viruses can spread from these bats to humans.
Despite their sizes, bats have relatively long lifespans and can live over 30 years.”So there’s a long time for them to be persistently infected with the virus and shed it into the environment,” Kading says. The mode of mechanisms for these viruses are through urine, saliva and feces of bats. The outbreak of Nivah that happened in Bangladesh was linked to the sap of a date palm gotten from some trees that some bats licked and had infested with their urine.
Reading through all these, it is not absurd to wonder why the bats themselves do not get affected by the viruses they carry.
The answer to that question is based on the fact that the bat is the only flying mammal in the world. Their body metabolism and process quite differ from that of normal mammals too. When bats fly, their heart rates rise to about a thousand beats per minute with a temperature rise of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Linfa Wang a student of bat viruses at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore says that when these signs manifest in other mammals, they are signals that can trigger death. But this is not the same case for other bats. This is a lifestyle for them, every day.
Their system is also capable of producing molecules that other organisms do not have. The molecules carry out repair functions and prevent cell damage. This makes their system a bit irresistible to infections and also make them recalcitrant to viruses and resilient to diseases such as diabetes, cancer and other health conditions.
This is a prove that the manifestation of viruses in mammals is not always as a result of the virus itself, but as a result of the body’s reaction to the presence of such a virus that makes us ill by triggering other chain reactions, as Wang explains.
Olival at EcoHealth explains that these bats have coevolved with these viruses and it is not totally their fault that we humans are infected and affected by these viruses. The actual problem is when the viruses move from their species to other species of mammals which is also fostered by human activity.
Naturally, it would be hard for most animals and mammals to cross paths. But Olivial says that the presence of some activities and availability of exchange platforms made available by humans can allow such interaction to occur. She gave an example using wildlife markets like the one in Wuhan, where a bat could be mixed up with a civet. Who later on come in contact with humans – eg. Butchers who do not observe proper hygiene and protection from animal blood.
“The way that we’re coming into contact with these animals, hunting, selling, and trading them is to a scale that really we haven’t seen before,” he says.
Investigative teams did some in-depth search and they discovered some traces of this virus in 22 stalls and in a garbage truck that was found at Huanan Seafood Market right there in Wuhan, a place known for booming trade for live animals. This discovery led to shutting down the market as it was tied to majority of the cases.
The intermediary animals to this viruses are still a mystery, but it is clear that some of these animals are prone to interact more with humans. This is why when they are infected, the likelihood for human infection is widened. These other infected animals can sneeze, urinate, be cooked as food or even owned as pets.
Bats are not just vectors for viruses, they play an important role in balancing the eco-system. They feed on insects and fruits and are active agents of pollination. In fact, Wang believes that since these bats have successfully coevolved with these viruses, there is every possibility that they can be the agents that can lead to the cure and provision of therapies for these viruses.