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Costa Rica begins using plasma treatment to fight COVID-19

May 27, 2020

A Costa Rican woman hospitalized with COVID-19 is being treated with plasma extracted from patients who recovered from the disease, an experiment that could help speed up the fight against the coronavirus, health authorities reported this week.

The president of Costa Rica’s Social Security, Román Macaya, indicated that the 37-year-old patient received her first dose of “convalescent plasma” on Saturday and the second on Sunday.

The Specialized Care Center for Patients with COVID-19, where she is admitted, reported that the patient showed “good clinical evolution,” although Macaya admitted that it’s too early to know the true results of the treatment.

Sebastián Molina, a microbiologist and immunohematology specialist at the National Blood Bank, explained that plasma antibodies act as a barrier against the virus, helping the patient to recover.

The National Blood Bank has received donations from 25 recovered coronavirus patients, from whom 61 bags of plasma have been obtained.

Convalescent plasma is among several treatments under investigation in Costa Rica. Also under study is a drug in which the proteins of the new coronavirus are injected into horses, so that the animal’s blood generates antibodies that serve to treat COVID-19 patients.

Monday, 21 new cases of COVID-19 were reported by Costa Rica, the highest jump in the last six weeks in Costa Rica, though Tuesday just five new cases were announced.

The country registers 956 cumulative cases of the coronavirus and 10 deaths.

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