Plasma treatment proves ineffective in COVID-19 treatment

There aren’t any specific treatment for the ongoing contagious disease. Plasma treatment which seemed fruitful at the beginning has been proved as inappropriate.

Blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors was of little benefit to patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, researchers in Argentina reported on Tuesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

So-called convalescent plasma, which delivers COVID-19 survivors’ antibodies to infected people, did not improve critically ill patients’ health status or reduce their risk of dying from the disease any better than a placebo. Researchers randomly assigned 333 hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia to receive convalescent plasma or a placebo.

After 30 days, they saw no significant differences in patients’ symptoms or health. Mortality rates were nearly the same: 11% in the convalescent plasma group and 11.4% in the placebo group, a difference not deemed statistically significant. It is still possible that convalescent plasma might help less-sick patients who get the treatment earlier in their illness, said study leader Dr. Ventura Simonovich of the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires. A separate randomized trial from Argentina, posted on Saturday on medRxiv ahead of peer review, found that when elderly COVID-19 patients received convalescent plasma within 72 hours after their symptoms began instead of a placebo, they were significantly less likely to become severely ill.

COVID-19 may hurt male fertility

Evidence of testes damage from COVID-19 has been accumulating in a series of small autopsy studies, suggesting that the new coronavirus could have an impact on male fertility. Researchers from the University of Miami in Florida compared testis tissues from six men who died of COVID-19 and three who died of other causes. Three of the COVID-19 patients had testis damage that would impair their ability to produce sperm. A Chinese research team made similar observations earlier this year and also found that some COVID-19 patients’ immune systems “attacked” the testes, causing severe inflammation, or orchitis. A separate Chinese team found “significant damage” to the basic cellular tissue of the testicles in 12 men who died of COVID-19. “The possibility that COVID-19 damages the testes and impacts fertility … warrants gonadal function evaluation in men infected with COVID-19, or who have recovered from COVID-19, and desire fertility,” the Miami team concluded in a report published in the World Journal of Men’s Health.

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