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New, experimental coronavirus treatment

Coronavirus in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas continues to see an increase in coronavirus cases. According to Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Dr. Lee Norman, the state has recorded 1,328 new coronavirus cases, 12 new deaths, and eight new cases clusters since Monday.

But a new, experimental treatment could help people recover from the virus. Convalescent plasma is being used to treat the coronavirus, but it has not been definitively proven to work.

The treatment takes antibodies from an individual who previously had the coronavirus. Those antibodies are then given to a sick patient to help them fight off the virus. The treatment has been cleared for emergency use by the FDA; this means the FDA is not approving the treatment but allowing it to be experimentally used in an emergency situation.

While the treatment is experimental, doctors are watching closely to see what is working and what isn’t. According to Dr. Dana Hawkinson from the University of Kansas Medical Center, they’ve found the sicker a person was with the coronavirus, the more antibodies they have to donate and the more likely those antibodies will help another patient.

“There have been a lot of people in Kansas, in the Kansas City community where I live, but in the nation, of people that have recovered that want to help other people,” added Dr. Hawkinson.

Donation of plasma is similar to donating blood. The antibodies are separated from the blood drawn and the red blood cells are returned to your body.

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