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calendar   Tuesday - March 17, 2020

Give Us Your Blood (to test, and later when you’re recovered, to share with others still sick)

Plasma From Recovered COVID Patients May Help Those Still Sick: China Testing It, WHO Agrees

This is on the news tonight, but has been out there online, buried under the hysteria, for a month now. Gee, I wonder why?

You get sick, your body makes antibodies, you get well. Those antibodies are in your blood. Filter the blood cells out of blood and you’re left with plasma. Which has the antibodies ... which may not be personally unique to each patient? Your antibodies will cure me? A lot of the time, this works. Plasma therapy is nothing new; it’s been done for quite some time now.

SHANGHAI/GENEVA (Reuters) - Doctors in Shanghai are using infusions of blood plasma from people who have recovered from the coronavirus to treat those still battling the infection, reporting some encouraging preliminary results, a Chinese professor said on Monday.

A top emergency expert at the World Health Organization (WHO) said later that using convalescent plasma was a “very valid” approach to test, but that it was important to get the timing right to maximize the boost to a patient’s immunity.

...

There are no fully licensed treatments or vaccines against the new coronavirus, and the process of developing and testing drugs can take many months and even years.

Convalescent plasma has been proven “effective and life-saving” against other infectious diseases, including rabies and diphtheria, Dr. Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s health emergencies program, told reporters in Geneva. “It is a very important area to pursue,” Ryan said.

“Because what hyperimmune globulin does is it concentrates the antibodies in a recovered patient. You are essentially giving the new victim’s immune system a boost of antibodies to hopefully get them through the very difficult phase.

“So it must be given at the right time, because it mops up the virus in the system, and it just gives the new patient’s immune system a vital push at the time it needs it. But it has to be carefully timed and it’s not always successful.”

~~~~

Testing, testing, testing

Acceptably Accurate 15 and 10 Minute Tests

[ February 17 2020 ] Chinese scientists have created a new diagnostic method using blood serum that can produce accurate results in 15 minutes and greatly reduce the exposure of medical workers to ill patients.

The new test kit is called novel coronavirus IgM antibody, and it has finished preliminary evaluation in lab and clinical tests, the State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease in Guangdong province said.

[ March 17, 2020 ] COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test Device by Caming Pharmaceutical, sold by Watson International

COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test Device is a rapid chromatographic immunoassay for the qualitative detection of IgG & IgM antibody of COVID-19 IgM in human whole blood , serum, or plasma as an aid in the diagnosis of COVID-19 infections.

This kit uses immunochromatography. The test card contains: 1) colloidal gold-labeled recombinant new coronavirus antigen and quality control antibody gold markers; 2) two detection lines (G and M lines) and one quality Control line (C line) of nitrocellulose membrane. The M line is immobilized with a monoclonal anti-human IgM antibody for detecting a new coronavirus IgM antibody; the G line is immobilized with a reagent for detecting a new coronavirus IgG antibody; and the C line is immobilized with a quality control antibody.

All a tech needs to do is add a few drops of blood and 2 drops of buffer solution to the simple disposable device. It’s like one of those early pregnancy test things, but with serum instead of urine. It tests both antibody lines and has a control test to show if the tech screwed up. Results in 10 minutes. So it’s really fast. It’s 100% accurate on healthy people, and 90.5% - 96% accurate on infected people. Not perfect, but a damn site better than nothing, and a LOT less invasive than the older test that needs a lung fluid sample. For susceptible people the test is 70 - 74.5% accurate, whereas the older test isn’t even applicable (0% accuracy). Testing in China shows the false positive rate for this group to be extremely low.

The current CDC test uses a swab from upper and lower respiratory tract.

A laboratory test produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently being used for COVID-19 testing in the United States. This test requires a swab from the patient’s nose or throat and lungs and is available at CDC-designated locations in the United States and qualified international laboratories.

There are two main elements to a COVID-19 test, according to interim guidelines shared publicly by the CDC to clinicians.

The coronavirus is a respiratory disease, so the test kits take specimens from both the upper and lower respiratory tracts.

Tests in the lower respiratory tract include a branchoalveolar lavage, a minimally invasive procedure in which the clinician places a bronchoscope through the patient’s mouth or nose and into the lungs. A sterile fluid solution is squirted into a small part of the lung, and a specimen is collected for examination.

The patient then produces a sputum sample: “Have the patient rinse the mouth with water and then expectorate deep cough sputum directly into a sterile, leak-proof, screw-cap sputum collection cup or sterile dry container,” the CDC’s instructions read.

In the second test, for the upper respiratory tract, the clinician will swab the patient’s nostril as well as the throat. The test also collects a 2 to 3 milliliter specimen following a nasal “wash” or aspirate, which involves a soft, flexible tube in the nose.

These specimens are refrigerated until they can be shipped to the CDC for testing.

The kit is to be stored at 35-46 degrees Fahrenheit and kept at that temperature using an ice pack or dry ice as it is shipped to a CDC lab.
...
The CDC does not specify the time frame for which results should be expected, but its guidelines call for the samples to be shipped overnight.

In the case of the patient being treated at UC Davis Medical Center, the positive diagnosis appears to have been received about three days after testing.

And when they’re swamped with tests, it’s going to take a lot longer than 3 days to get the results. So a 10 minute test is one helluva improvement.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/17/2020 at 08:57 PM   
Filed Under: • Health-Medicinepandemic and epidemic diseases •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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