Referred to as convalescent plasma, which apparently is not a new medical technology in the world of medicine. The reason is, this method has been used to fight various diseases and the flu pandemic that broke out in 1918.
From the 1880s to the era of the discovery of antibiotics, convalesent plasma from the blood plasma of patients who had recovered from disease was also used to prevent and treat many bacterial and viral infections in humans and animals.
Illustration of researchers taking blood plasma from patients recovering from Covid-19. Convalescent plasma or recovered plasma can be used as antibody therapy for Covid-19 patients.
The first rational approach, in 1890 was carried out by physiologists Emil von Behring and Kitasato to treat diphtheria, quoted from National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
Behring used blood serum, which was originally produced from immunized animals but soon whole blood serum from recovered donors with certain humoral immunity was identified as a possible source of specific antibodies of human origin.
Launch History, thanks to a treatment method known as diphtheria antitoxin, Behring was awarded the first Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1901.
The Von Behring antitoxin is not a vaccine, but it is the earliest example of a treatment method that has become known as convalescent plasma or plasma.
BETWEEN PHOTOS / NOVA WAHYUDI Medical officers examine bags containing convalescent plasma from patients recovering from COVID-19 at the Blood Transfusion Unit (UTD) of the Gatot Soebroto Central Army Hospital, Jakarta, Tuesday (18/8/2020). The collection of convalescent plasma of patients cured of COVID-19 using an apheresis tool aims to help cure patients with confirmed COVID-19.
Now, this treatment method is being revived to become a potential weapon in the treatment of Covid-19.
” Plasma “Cured blood (convalescent plasma) has been used throughout history when dealing with infectious diseases where some people are recovering and there is no other therapy,” said Warner Greene, director of the Center for HIV Cure Research at Gladstone Institutes.
Blood plasma therapy from recovered people has been successful in reducing deaths from the pandemic Spanish flu.
After von Behring’s antitoxin was distributed around the world to treat the diphtheria epidemic of 1895, doctors experimented with the same passive immunity method in curing measles, mumps, polio and influenza.
In fact, during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, the death rate could be lowered using blood plasma treatment methods.
A doctor at a medical school in Pennsylvania for the first time tries a unique technique to prevent measles, which is potentially deadly.
Dr. J. Roswell Gallagher, in 1934 tried to take a blood serum from a student who had just recovered from a severe measles infection.
The blood serum was then injected into 62 other boys who were at high risk of contracting the disease.
However, only three students ended up contracting measles and all cases were relatively mild.
Although the method is relatively new, it is not new to science. Now, convalescent plasma is back as a treatment therapy for patients infected with the new corona virus, SARS-CoV-19, which has been endemic since the end of 2019.
Even if there are still several gray areas to be clarified in relation to this treatment, a recent American study suggests that the death rate from COVID-19 is lower in patients who quickly received a convalescent plasma donation.
This can be read in the results of research conducted over a period of three months by the prestigious Mayo Clinic, which unveiled the results on Friday.
Of the 3,082 patients who participated, a large portion suffered from severe symptoms of COVID-19, with more than half in intensive care and more than a quarter surviving thanks to a mechanical ventilation system at the time of the transfusion.
Patients who received a donation three days after diagnosis had a lower mortality rate compared to those who were injected with convalescent plasma more than four days after their positive COVID-19 test.
However, if these data are interesting, they do not allow the Mayo Clinic to conclude that this treatment, which was the subject of several studies around the world during the pandemic, is effective.
Because that was not the initial objective of the work of the Mayo Clinic. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the equivalent of Health Canada in the United States, gave the green light to this initiative in April to ensure the safety of this type of transfusion.
This famous treatment consists of taking plasma from people who have fought COVID-19 and then transfusing it to people who suffer from it immediately. It is believed that the antibodies present in the convalescent plasma could overcome the virus.
This technique has been used on other occasions throughout history to fight diseases, in the absence of a vaccine, without there being any formal proof to ensure its effectiveness.
This was the case in 1918 in the fight against the Spanish influenza pandemic.
“For 102 years we have been debating the effectiveness of convalescent plasma. [Cette fois-ci], we really need hard evidence, ”said Dr. Mila Ortigoza, an infectious disease specialist at New York University, commenting on the Mayo Clinic study in an interview with The Associated Press.
Regardless, the donation of convalescent plasma is very popular in hospitals in Uncle Sam’s country to treat COVID-19, for lack of anything better.
So much so that today the demand for convalescent plasma is often too great for the number of donations, Reuters reported on Friday.
“We are definitely seeing donor fatigue,” said Dr. Norbert Topf, chief medical officer at Presbyterian Healthcare Services in New Mexico.
However, unlike most countries in the West, the need for plasma in the United States remains high, with the number of new cases remaining at a critical level.
Many people already see an end to the pandemic in the easing – but that will be a long time coming, predict US researchers. You have developed several visions for the further course of the corona crisis.
Countries like Brazil and the USA are still reporting increasing numbers of corona infections. In Europe, the opening of the borders in the holiday areas in the Balkans and in Spain is creating corona hotspots again. In other parts of the world, however, the number of cases is falling – and people are breathing again.
Researchers around the world are investigating the dynamics of the corona spread to identify a possible end to the pandemic to be able to predict. One thing is certain: It remains unclear how the corona situation will develop.
“There is no crystal ball that tells us what the future holds,” says a publication by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota. Nevertheless, US scientists created different scenarios for the duration of the corona pandemic back in April. The “Deutsche Apothekerzeitung” previously reported on this.
Learn from previous pandemics
The team around the epidemiologist and CIDRAP head Michael T. Osterholm has oriented itself to past pandemics. According to the researchers, these experiences could help to draw conclusions about the current situation.
Earlier InfluenzaAccording to the experts, pandemics are best suited for this – although corona and influenza viruses are very different. The pandemics, however, have some things in common. The researchers refer to eight global flu pandemics, four of which have occurred since 1900: 1918 to 1919, 1957, 1968 and 2009 to 2010.
The incubation period for influenza viruses is one to four days, that for Covid-19 two to 14 days. The longer incubation period with Corona allows the virus to spread unnoticed within the population.
The proportion of asymptomatic cases is at Covid-19 at an estimated 25 percent, probably higher than for influenza at an estimated 16 percent.
The R0 value (base reproduction number) for Covid-19 is estimated at 2.0 to 3.0, but could also be higher. The R0 for the flu varied depending on the pandemic, but it is estimated that it is consistently around or below 2. This suggests that even severe influenza virus pandemics were less transmissible in the past than SARS-CoV-2.
The researchers concluded that the Coronavirus spreads faster and often undetected in the world than the common flu. “A higher reproductive number means that more people will have to become infected and immune before the pandemic ends,” says their research report “Covid-19: The CIDRAP Viewpoint”.
Travelers: According to some experts, the summer holiday season could cause the number of infections to rise again in autumn. (Source: Ralph Peters / imago images)
Even if there are usually no clear patterns, according to the US researchers, seven of the eight major flu pandemics had an early peak that disappeared over the course of a few months. About six months after the first high, a second high was recorded. Also, some would have InfluenzaPandemics showed more, smaller waves over the course of two years after the first wave, the scientists said.
From this knowledge, the scientists developed for the further course of the coronaviruspandemic three possible scenarios. These refer primarily to the northern hemisphere. Everyone joins the wave of spring 2020.
Scenario 1: smaller waves over a longer period of time
In the first scenario, the first corona outbreak this spring will be followed by further small waves in summer and in the coming years. However, these waves of illness will lose their intensity as early as 2021.
The extent can vary geographically and depends on which restrictions apply and how they are relaxed. In this scenario, the pandemic flattens overall – but it also lasts for a long time.
Scenario 2: Peak in autumn 2020 with subsequent waves
The second scenario by the US researchers paints a bleak picture. There is another corona outbreak in autumn, which is larger than the first wave of infections.
That would require renewed restrictions to prevent the spread of infections and overloading health systems. This is followed by one or more smaller waves in 2021 until the curve flattens significantly. This pattern is based on that of the Spanish flu in 1918 and 1919.
Scenario 3: the virus slowly subsides without another peak
The third scenario reckons after the peak in spring with continuously occurring cases without a clear pattern. A new high is no longer expected here. Even so, it will probably take until 2022 for the pandemic to completely go away, and the virus would continue to cause illness and death.
While this pattern has not been seen in previous flu pandemics, researchers are considering it for Covid-19.
“Regardless of which scenario the pandemic follows, we must expect that we will have to live with the coronavirus for another 18 to 24 months and that hotspots will repeatedly develop in different regions of the world,” the researchers conclude in their report.
Immunity in two thirds of the world’s population could only be achieved in 2022 – and thus global herd immunity against the coronavirus. It remains to be seen how the number of infections will develop in the individual countries.
“Which virologist do you trust the most?”asked the tabloid Bild to its readers, on April 3. The 60,000 participants in the survey did not hesitate: Christian Drosten is the undisputed champion, the favorite of the public. At 48, the director of the virology department of the Berlin University Hospital of Charity already has an impressive career behind him, just crowned with an award from the German Research Foundation. Drosten was recognized for his “exceptional achievements for science and society in the face of a dramatic evolution of the pandemic ”.
He is one of the most listened to scientists in Germany. By the government, but also the general public. He intervenes several times a week in a very popular radio program, covering all types of subjects : Does the virus spread through the air? Are children as contagious as they say? Begun on February 26, the show is at its 34e episode, and always
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I.In September 1918, the situation in San Francisco was serious. Everyone could see that a plague was raging in the country – so most of the city’s residents kept wearing face masks. It paid off two months later: fewer people had contracted the infection and health officials advised cautiously to ease the quarantine that had also been imposed on the city. Hungry, the citizens of San Francisco flocked to public events – in restaurants, bowling alleys, clubs; the mayor of San Francisco had to pay a fine because the chief of police found him in the theater without a mask.
In December, a second wave of contagion rolled through the city. The head of the health department, a William C. Hassler, summoned the citizens of San Francisco to wear masks, please, please.
Prague, October 1918. When Kafka fell ill, he was still a subject of the Habsburg monarchy. When he goes outside the door after five weeks, he lives in Czechoslovakia. A strange fever changed everything.
“It was no longer common flu. It was the symptoms of a disease that was to develop into a devastating, global pandemic. And this at a rate that caused the massive infection to break in like a natural disaster … At the end of September, the first cases became known, within the first week of October around two hundred people died in the metropolises of Vienna and Berlin, and by mid-October there were up to two hundred per day. “
You have Reiner Stach’s great, great Kafka biography in the third volume open and can only hold our breath: schools, theaters, cinemas closed, morgues crowded, doctors and nurses at the end of their strength. The force with which the so-called Spanish flu rolls through Europe at the end of 1918 is also due to the rapid incubation period of only one or two days fatal.
“Kafka hit it at the height of the wave,” we continue reading at Stach. The doctor has to come on Monday, October 14th. Kafka (he lives with his parents) has a fever of 40 degrees, has to be quarantined at home, needs intensive home care. He is already too weak to be transferred to a hospital.
Because he has a previous illness: The tuberculosis, the consequences of which he died in 1924, he caught in 1917, perhaps at his employer: Die Worker accident insurance company In Prague, as the Kafka biographer emphasizes, there is an “authority with public traffic”: it is clear that Kafka, as a clerk, “was often around people who were badly off and there was plenty of coughing there”.
Back then, tuberculosis was responsible for a quarter of all worker deaths. In 1922, Kafka’s condition deteriorated so much that he went into early retirement. Most likely, he has had an irreversible tuberculosis episode due to the Spanish flu infection; Reiner Stach speaks of the “fatal blow”.
We are back in October 1918, Kafka lies in his parents’ bedroom with pneumonia, in Prague there is a strange “overlapping of epidemic and political crisis”. The Czechs are revolutionizing, want to get out of Austria-Hungary, their own state.
Outrageous things happen under the window of the Kafka apartment on the Old Town Square. K. u. k. The military marches on, withdraws with laughter. Outside, a patient called the Habsburg Monarchy is struggling to survive, inside, a family member.
On October 28, the Austrian emperor agreed to an armistice with the Allies, and a dispatch from US President Wilson spoke of the right of the Czechs to autonomy.
From the window, the Kafka family watches the establishment of the Czechoslovak state without bloodshed. But inside, as usual with flu patients with TB, Kafka probably coughed up blood again.
When he goes back to the office for the first time after five weeks of flu, Austria-Hungary is history. Franz-Joseph-Bahnhof in Prague is now called Wilson-Bahnhof, and Worker Accident Insurance, Kafka’s employer, has introduced Czech as the official language. Kafka himself gets a new passport a few months later: František Kafka.
“Sinking in fever as a subject of the Habsburg monarchy and waking up again as a citizen of a Czech democracy: That was scary, but also strange,” notes Reiner Stach. Kafka’s entire life reads like a novel – at least in the brilliant form in which it should be Master biographer wrote down.
All life as a writer is said to be paper. In this series we are going to prove the opposite.
Unlike the plague epidemic, which began with the transfer of bacilli to the Mongols from marmots, or SARS, spread by bats, or bird flu, which was born thanks to chickens, or swine influenza, which broke out among farmers, the “Spaniard” came from nowhere. There is still no exact version. Homeland devastated in 1918-1919. the flu planet was called France, USA and China.
The name Spaniard got a severe infection for two reasons: in Spain, 39% of the population suffered from it, including King Alphonse XII, and the Spanish authorities were the first on the planet to officially declare a pandemic. This infection is considered the deadliest in our history. – 29.3% of all humanity fell ill with the “Spanish woman”, and from 17 to 50 million (!) Of the inhabitants of the Earth died. Some researchers even cite the figure of 100 million victims. One way or another, in any case, the “Spanish flu” shocked the then universe to the ground. Its main difference from the epidemic of the coronavirus COVID-19: the “Spaniard” killed mostly men aged 20 to 40 years with excellent health.
The first flu deaths at the end of 1917 were recorded among British soldiers in a huge military camp (about 100 thousand troops) near the city of Etaples in northern France. The largest hospitals worked there, where they treated bullet wounds and victims of chemical attacks: for their food, orderlies massively bred chickens and pigs – perhaps from pets with birds the virus was transmitted to humans. Almost immediately, the disease was discovered in Haskell County in the US state of Kansas.
At the same time, the Spaniard broke out in China (this is already a tradition), although the Chinese version of the infection was relatively mild, and the number of victims was not so gigantic – the Chinese suddenly had a strong immunity. True, there is also such an opinion: the pioneers of the virus were 96,000 workers from the Middle Kingdom, hired to dig trenches on the Franco-German front. High mortality from the “Spanish woman” due to the problems of the First World War – malnutrition, lack of sleep, general weakening of the immune system, constant stress. Therefore, it was the soldiers of the belligerent powers who became the first victims. Well and of course, a lot depended on the level of medicine: in British India, where there were practically no doctors per capita of “natives”, 12 million people died, 20% (!) Of the population died on the territory of the modern African state of Zambia and on the islands of the Samoa archipelago, and in the French colony of Tahiti in only one month (!) 13% of local residents died.
Garlic or just luck?
Very strange, but the virus did not touch its usual targets. – more often than not he struck children and old people, but young men from 20 to 40 years old. The first wave of the pandemic passed in the spring, weakening towards the summer. As soon as everyone calmed down, as the second hit – the virus mutated, it became even more deadly. Symptoms were the same. – bloody cough, high fever (39-40 degrees), pulmonary hemorrhage and pneumonia. The patient died in 3-4 days, often from infection to the patient’s death 10 hours passed.
Grave-diggers infected and died, in Spain, bodies were raked into pits by steam excavators – even for big money it was impossible to hire specialists for the funeral. The worst thing began when in some cities in the USA and Spain, doctors completely died out (!) And there was no one to treat patients. To everyone’s amazement, Russia, torn apart by the civil war and famine, did not suffer very much. – there, 0.3% of citizens died of the flu (least of all in percentage terms in Europe). Doctors of the whole world still do not have concrete explanations why the “Spanish woman” raging on the planet in the RSFSR has turned into one of the weakest diseases, when compared with the same typhus. There are doubts about the numbers – supposedly, the data are inaccurate, but most researchers agree in the same opinion: “I didn’t take Russian flu.” One of the reasons for our luck is the habit of the inhabitants of Russia … eat garlic. Low mortality was in Japan – there, they say, strict quarantine helped: just like in Australia. At the same time, 675,000 Spanish women died in the USA, in France – 425,000 in Spain – 300,000.
Sinister Aspirin Conspiracy
The measures taken were the same as now. In most cities in North America, churches, bars, restaurants and cinemas closed for the whole year: shops served customers outside the building, in the fresh air. Children studied at home, the courts adjourned the sentences “until better times.” At the entrance to the trams of New York, police demanded that passengers have a gauze bandage on their face, and in Arizona, they legally prohibited handshakes and kisses. Spitting on an opponent during quarrels (even between spouses) was punished with five years in prison.
There was a rumor that it should settle in frosty areas: there, they say, the virus does not work, and apartments in Alaska and Iceland have risen terribly. Nothing of the kind … The Spaniard instantly mowed people in the middle of the ice: in the village of Brevig Mission in Alaska, out of 80 inhabitants, 72 people died. By the way, after 100 years it is still unknown: what role did aspirin play in the deaths? Pharmaceutical companies assured that purely aspirin treats the flu, and many patients died by taking gigantic portions of the drug (prescribed 30 grams, while the daily norm is 4 grams). And from him, as it turned out, there is also an “overdose” with severe bleeding. Often speculators sold expired aspirin. Therefore, poisoning in Europe and the United States happened constantly.
Distribution of free lemons
The pandemic was poorly covered in the world press: the infection was called “Spanish”, since neutral Spain officially recognized the existence of the problem. Other states (both the Entente and Germany with Austria-Hungary) were afraid: the First World War was going on, if the enemies found out about the dangerous epidemic and the suffering of the civilian population in the rear, they would redouble their efforts at the front. The flu disappeared completely unexpectedly: on October 16, 1918, it was announced that 4 597 people had died from influenza in a week in Philadelphia (USA), and already on November 11 there was NOT a single (!) Case of infection in the city. The deadly virus simply evaporated. No scientific explanation has been found for this. – just the “Spaniard” ruthlessly destroyed humanity by millions and suddenly disappeared overnight, as if someone in the higher realms had pressed a button. It is only assumed that the virus again mutated sharply, ceasing to be fatal, and turned into a normal SARS. The average mortality rate was 10 to 20% of cases – Mostly the inhabitants of slums, poor urban areas and the colonies of European powers in Africa and Asia, who did not have access to normal medical care, died. In general, the mobilization of all doctors, quarantine measures and advertising ways to quickly raise immunity helped to somehow contain the epidemic. – for this, oranges and lemons were handed out for free. Surprisingly, this delayed the disease.
INTERVIEW – For the historian Claude Quétel, honorary director of research at the CNRS, the parallel is essential with the pandemic which massively struck Europe and the world between 1918 and 1919.
THE FIGARO MAGAZINE. – During its history, France has been affected by numerous epidemics. What were the deadliest?
Claude QUÉTEL. – France was struck several times in the Middle Ages t under the Ancien Régime by the plague. The first, known as the Black Death, which swept across our country between 1347 and 1352, killed 7 of the 17 million people it had at the time. The plague of 1720, in Marseille, took 30,000 of the 90,000 inhabitants of the city and killed 100,000 people in total in Languedoc and Provence. Cholera was invited twice, in 1832 and 1854, causing more than 100,000 deaths in 1832 and 143,000 deaths throughout the territory in 1854. Let us also mention the endemic smallpox, chronic from Antiquity to eradication of his virus in 1977, thanks to the compulsory vaccine. Syphilis too wreaked havoc when it first appeared in the late 15th centurye century and AIDS continues to weigh heavily on our health care system. If his virus no longer kills our
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