CHICAGO – In the race to treat coronavirus, researchers are looking to the past for help.
Even though horse serum isn’t being looked at today, human blood is. Researchers in Chicago are looking at blood donated from COVID-19 patients who are now recovered.
“Early on in the days before antibiotics they used horse serum for people who had meningitis, kids who had meningitis,” Dr. Chundi said with the Chicago Medical Society COVID-19 task force. “This is an experimental therapy but right now the frustration that we’re having from those treating patients on the front lines.”
The key is testing. This week, the commissioner of the FDA said antibody testing will be the key to lifting stay-at-home orders and reopening the country.
Those same tests could also identify who could help in the early treatment for patients.
“I’m very hopeful that this could be helpful. The question is do we give this early in the illness or do we give it late? 34 my personal belief is that we have to give these things earlier than late because it’s an RNA virus,” said Dr. Chundi. “Very similar to influenza.”
Researchers are looking at using blood from COVID-19 patients to see if their antibodies will attack the virus.
It’s an odd place in which modern medical professionals find themselves. They’re battling a virus for which they have no effective medication.
They are now looking at a century’s old therapy for a temporary answer.
“This is very frustrating for the providers, we’re sitting here watching young people getting sick and some of them pass away. Its very frustrating, it’s very depressing,” said Dr. Chundi.
Their hope is that those who’ve recovered are open to donating blood. The FDA has even relaxed restrictions on members of the LGBT community to donate.
The more blood donated gives researchers more hope to find a vaccine or an effective treatment.
To find the nearest Red Cross location to give blood, click here.