Epidemic Current Affairs - 2020

FDA approves Convalescent Plasma Treatment for seriously ill COVID-19 patients

The Food and Drug Administration of the United States has approved the use of Convalescent plasma collected from patients recovered from COVID-19 to treat seriously ill COVID-19 patients. The idea of the method is to inject plasma with antibodies into critically ill patients for them to gain immunity against the virus.

Highlights

The Convalescent plasma treatment had earlier been studied during the outbreaks of 2003 SARS-CoV-1 epidemic, 2009-10 H1N1 influenza virus and 2012 MERS-CoV epidemic.

The treatment is mere collection of plasma from a COVID-19 recovered patient and inject them into a critically ill patient of COVID-19

What is Plasma?

Plasma is the major part of the blood. Apart from RBC, WBC and platelets in the blood, all the other fluid content is referred as Plasma. It makes up more than 55% of blood in human body. When separated from blood, it becomes light yellow liquid. This is because, blood is red in color due to the RBCs.

The main role of plasma is to carry hormones, nutrients and proteins to different parts of the body.

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India, first in the world to start antibody tests for Corona Virus

India is all set to begin antibody tests to confirm if a person was previously infected with the virus. This will help understand the epidemiology of Covid-19.

Highlights

The methodology adopted by India is first in the world. It is a serological test that looks for antibodies in the blood. The test is different from the current methodologies that use nasal or throat swabs to determine active infection.

About the test

The test determines if the person had viral infections based on the presence of antibodies in their blood. The antibody test is not a confirmatory test. However, it is a test for the purpose of surveillance. It helps to generate data about number of people that got exposed to the virus.

Role of ICMR

So far, ICMR has conducted tests on random samples and no community transmission has begun in India. However, experts believe that there are possibilities for India to enter into community transmission stage.

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