HKU teams says plasma can kill 99 per cent of virus - RTHK
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HKU teams says plasma can kill 99 per cent of virus

2020-05-07 HKT 22:18
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  • Blood plasma is being trialled in various parts of the world. Photo: Reuters
    Blood plasma is being trialled in various parts of the world. Photo: Reuters
Researchers from the University of Hong Kong say they've found that donated blood plasma from patients who've recovered from the coronavirus can kill 99 per cent of the virus in patients who are fighting Covid-19.

Scientists around the world are studying the use of plasma donated by former patients in coronavirus treatment, with the hope that antibodies from those who've overcome the disease can help those who are still fighting it.

The team from the university's faculty of medicine said that in one case, a patient who had been in a serious condition recovered sufficiently to be taken off a ventilator.

Ivan Hung, who heads the medical school's infectious diseases division, said plasma treatment was safe for most patients, although in rare cases it could lead to heart problems. He said patients who weren't responding well to anti-viral drugs could be switched to the new treatment.

HKU says it has identified 20 to 30 suitable donors of plasma, taking into account their age and gender. Each donor can give 500 millilitres at a time, and can donate again after two weeks as long as their level of antibodies has not dropped.

A number of international trials are attempting to make use of antibodies found in blood plasma in treatment for Covid-19. Britain's National Health Service launched a study earlier this month at London's Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson was treated for the virus.

Australia's biggest biotech company, CSL, said it would test a blood plasma treatment for people with serious cases of the illness