Mar 25, 2020 - Health

Critically ill coronavirus patients can now be treated with survivors' blood

Blood and plasma samples used for the evaluation swabs for coronavirus research in Italy. Photo: Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday new emergency protocols allowing allowing the plasma of those who've recovered from the novel coronavirus to treat patients who are critically ill with COVID-19.

Why it matters: The number of coronavirus infections in the U.S. had risen to almost 54,900 and the death toll to 783 by Tuesday night. Per the FDA, it is possible that this treatment, convalescent plasma, "contains antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) might be effective against the infection."

The big picture: Doctors in China have treated coronavirus patients with convalescent plasma. The method was also used during the 1918 flu epidemic.

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Monday trials for the convalescent plasma treatment in the state, which has become the COVID-19 epicenter, with at least 14,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York City alone.

What they're saying: Cuomo stressed that it's "only a trial."

  • "It's a trial for people who are in serious condition, but the New York State Department of Health has been working on this with some of New York's best health-care agencies, and we think it shows promise, and we're going to be starting that this week," he said.

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The fight for New York

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

New York's fight against the novel coronavirus is also the nation's fight, as the state — and the city in particular — emerges with "astronomical numbers" of cases, to quote Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Why it matters: The Empire State has 5% of the world's COVID-19 cases and about 50% of the nation's. Its success — or failure — in fighting the virus, safeguarding citizens and treating the afflicted will tell us a lot about what can succeed in the rest of the U.S.

Go deeperArrowMar 25, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus cases top 1,000 as states scramble to curb the spread

A stretcher is moved from an AMR ambulance to the Life Care Center of Kirkland in Washington state. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The number of cases of the novel coronavirus in the U.S. soared to 1,037 and the death toll to at least 31 by early Wednesday, per data from Johns Hopkins and state health departments.

The big picture: Nearly 40 states had reported cases by Tuesday and at least 12 have declared a state of emergency — Washington, California, New York, Oregon, Kentucky, Maryland, Utah, Colorado, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Florida and Michigan — which reported its first two cases on Tuesday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 11, 2020 - Health

Cuomo: Coronavirus risk remains low despite first confirmed case in N.Y.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday there's "no reason for undue anxiety" after a woman in her late 30s became the first in the state to test positive for the novel coronavirus.

Details: Per Cuomo, the woman contracted the virus in Iran, which has now reported nearly 1,000 COVID-19 cases. She has since been put into isolation after the Wadsworth Lab in Albany confirmed the results. "[T]he general risk remains low in New York," Cuomo said. "We are diligently managing this situation," he said.

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