South Korean researchers have proved the effectiveness of blood plasma treatment on coronavirus patients.
Doctors at Yonsei Severance Hospital in Seoul administered plasma therapy on two elderly coronavirus patients, a 67-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man.
They were treated with plasma from people who had recovered and have developed antibodies to the virus, enabling their bodies to protect themselves from the virus' attacks.
One of the patients was discharged after making a full recovery, while the other is set to be sent home soon.
"The patients continued to suffer from acute respiratory distress syndrome even after antiviral treatment. Then we decided to go with plasma treatment in combination with steroids."
Plasma is a yellowish blood fluid you get from centrifuging blood.
It carries various nutrients including protein as well as antibodies.
Antibodies, which are Y-shaped proteins produced by the immune system, stop intruders from harming the body.
These invaders, called antigens, can be viruses, bacteria, or other chemicals.
Antibodies also enable macrophages to engulf viruses and bacteria.
The South Korean government says it will soon provide detailed guidelines for the treatment, which was also used to treat patients during the MERS outbreak.
"The guidelines for plasma treatment are nearly done, and we will swiftly commence research on other means of treatment."
For now, it's crucial to secure enough plasma from people who have fully recovered from COVID-19.
The government also needs to prepare for possible side-effects as no large-scale clinical trials have been conducted yet.
Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.