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GUWAHATI | JULY 18, 2020:
An experimental treatment some doctors claim can be of great help for severe COVID-19 patients has gained the attention of a lot of people, not just on the internet but even has the Assam government advocating for it.
In a series of tweets, Assam Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, and Health Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma have appealed to the recovered patients to come forward and save a life by donating their convalescent plasma.
"A critical Covid19 patient needs your plasma to fight off the virus. My earnest appeal to all recovered symptomatic people to donate convalescent plasma and save a life," said Himanta Biswa Sarma.
What is Convalescent plasma?
Blood plasma is the liquid that makes up about half of our blood volume. After a virus, our plasma contains antibodies that are used to help fight infection. Convalescent plasma is the antibody-rich plasma of a person who has recovered from a virus. Although no drug has been proven to be effective in treating COVID-19. Recovered COVID 19 patients are believed to have antibodies to the disease in their blood. Researchers hope that convalescent plasma can be given to such patients to boost their ability to fight the virus; it is also speculated to help keep people who are moderately ill from becoming more ill and experiencing further implications regarding the virus.
Are there any risks to this therapy?
Convalescent plasma therapy risks:
• Allergic reactions
• Lung damage and difficulty breathing
• Transmission of infectious, including HIV and Hepatitis B and C
The risk of these infections is very low. Before donated blood can be used, it must be tested for safety. It then goes through a process to separate blood cells so that all that's left is plasma with antibodies.
Are we inching closer to finding a cure to COVID-19?
It is not known if this therapy will be an effective treatment for COVID-19; however, by studying the results of this therapy for COVID-19, doctors are hopeful that this approach will help prevent COVID related deaths.
Assam Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has been supporting this therapy for Assam in his tweets on Twitter along with Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who has been actively advocating for the donation of convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients from the Northeast.
Twitter link of Sarbananda and HBS tweets