In January 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID – 19 virus as a world health emergency. From the day it first appeared in China, which was in late December last year, until now, it has spread to more than 190 countries. Over 80 countries have banned international flights as well as domestic flights, requested their citizens to practice self-quarantine, and have shut down their businesses as well as all of their educational institutions. The International Monetary Fund named these restrictions and safety precautions as the “Great Lockdown “.
As of July 2020, there are over 14 million confirmed cases of the Coronavirus. Among them, 7.8 million have been able to cover and almost 60 thousand have died. The rest are still affected. Scientists all over the world are trying their best to find a cure for this disease, be it a treatment or the vaccine. And fortunately, some ray of hope is finally here. It has been observed that plasma of recovered COVID -19 patients can be used to help the ones who are currently affected. This is because when a person has recovered from the coronavirus, they develop antibodies, which can be used to boost the immune system of other patients and hence help them in recovering.
The coronavirus is not the first virus that has hit the world and this is not the first time that plasma therapy is being used to help sick patients. It was also used in 1918 when the Spanish flu had hit the world. Almost 50% reduction in deaths was observed because of the use of the blood transfusions of the survivors. Similarly, in 1934, an outbreak of measles occurred in a boarding school in Pennsylvania. Doctors of that time made a serum from the first infected student to treat 62 more students. Out of the 62, only three students developed measles while all the other remained healthy.
The eligibility criteria for donating plasma is that you have spent a minimum of 14 days without showing the symptoms after you recovered. Also, only adults can donate, so if you are under 18, you might have recovered yourself but you cannot help other people. In the end, you also need to make sure that you are healthy and fit enough after being recovered to be able to donate.
So, if you have been lucky enough to recover from this disease or know such people, then make sure that you go and donate your plasma. You should also request the people around you to do the same so that we all can contribute to what little we can to help people in these difficult times. These times are not easy for anyone and making someone’s a little better can go a long way. For us, it might not be a big deal, but for others, it might be a matter of life and death.
Although this is not a permanent solution to end this disease and free the world from the restrictions and lockdown, it takes us somewhere on the road to recovery.