March 23, 2020
The current COVID-19 pandemic is encouraging researchers to try a variety of measures to try and contain the virus. Much work is being done around the world to create and test new vaccines, as well as testing existing medications to see if they are effective in combatting the novel coronavirus, but one group is suggesting an old school solution.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are investigating how efficient the use of antibodies is as a temporary fix. They are reviving a method from the 19th century that was historically used to help slow the spread of other diseased like polio and measles. This method is called passive antibody therapy and involves people who are recovering from COVID-19 donating blood. Their blood serum contains antibodies to the virus and could be given to people at risk of exposure to COVID-19 to give them some temporary immunity.
The major advantage of this approach is that there is no need for research or development, so it could be implemented immediately to help stem the spread of COVID-19. If this approach gets the green light the people who could conceivably be the first to benefit would be medical professionals and family members living with confirmed COVID-19 patients. A step like this could go a long way to slow the spread of the virus until such time as a vaccine or treatment is created.
Source: Science Alert
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