Blood From Recovered COVID-19 Patients Can Help Treat Other Patients

Donor's Blood May Help Recipient Fight COVID-19

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Blood from people who have recovered from COVID-19 may help treat or prevent the disease in others. Pixabay

By Steve Baragona

Blood from people who have recovered from COVID-19 may help treat or prevent the disease in others. This is a health news.

Scientists are preparing to see if injecting patients with the clear liquid part of blood, known as plasma, from patients who have recuperated from coronavirus infection can halt the virus.

It’s an age-old treatment, used for more than a century against various outbreaks, from the 1918 influenza pandemic to measles in the 1930s to Ebola in 2014.

When patients recover from a disease, their blood contains antibodies to the germ that caused it. Antibodies are like the immune system’s warning flags. When a germ infects a patient again, those warning flags draw the immune system’s attention to the invader, and the body can fight it off.

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A worker checks bottles with blood plasma derivatives at the Octapharma company in Dessau, Germany. VOA

Injecting patients with convalescent serum can pass on that protection.

“If you can harvest those antibodies and give them to people that either have been exposed [to the germ] and therefore are at risk, or are early on in the disease, then you have a good chance of making a difference,” said Dr. Shmuel Shoham, an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Not a sure thing

It doesn’t always work, however.

Shoham did a study to see if plasma from recovered influenza patients would help people with moderate to severe flu.

It didn’t.

But Shoham hasn’t given up hope that convalescent serum could help fight COVID-19, in part because the patients in his influenza study may have been too far along in their illness.

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Bags of donated blood plasma are pictured in Seoul, South Korea. VOA

“When you’re trying to treat a disease that’s later on, when it’s too deep into the tissues, other parts of the immune system are important,” he said. “So maybe in the influenza patients we were getting it too late. They already had disease inside of them.”

Shoham says it may work as prevention for people at high risk, such as health care workers. Vaccines work by triggering the immune system to produce antibodies against a weakened or dead version of a germ. Plasma would provide those antibodies, but only temporarily. Patients receiving the plasma aren’t producing their own antibodies, so protection would eventually wear off.

Chinese physicians treated some patients with convalescent plasma, but not in controlled clinical studies, so it’s not clear how well it worked.

Call for plasma

Chinese authorities have called for more citizens who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma.

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Passengers arrive from a domestic flight at Beijing Capital Airport on March 27, 2020. – China will drastically cut its international flight routes and bar entry to returning foreigners based in the country to stem the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, authorities. VOA

“I hope everyone can do his share to help end the epidemic as soon as possible,” said Xiong Fei, a bus driver in Wuhan, who caught the virus while treating his mother, who died of the disease, according to China’s state-run broadcaster, CCTV.

Blood banks routinely collect plasma for use in surgeries and emergency rooms.

Spanish health care company Grifols has signed an agreement with the U.S. government to collect plasma at the company’s U.S. blood donation centers. It is also planning to purify coronavirus antibodies from plasma for further clinical testing against the disease.

FDA approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this week authorized doctors to use convalescent plasma on an emergency basis.

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“Now, this is a possible treatment. This is not a proven treatment. Just want to emphasize that,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said at a press conference.

More testing is needed to find out if treating patients with convalescent serum is safe and effective. (VOA)

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Tips to Overcome Pandemic Effects During Pregnancy

Pregnant women should stay healthy, calm and safe during pregnancy in current times

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Pregnancy might be a little more difficult compared to the earlier times because of the ongoing pandemic. Pixabay

As social distancing and staying at home have become the “new normal” in the current scenario, it is important during pregnancy to keep a calm mind, continue their checkups with doctors on online sessions, and be open about their concerns, say experts according to Health Tips.

“With all the uncertainty around, one of the best things that you can do is be positive and practice ways that will help ensure your and your baby’s well-being,” said Dr. Prathibha Babshet, Ayurveda Expert, R&D, The Himalaya Drug Company.

“This is possible by taking care of your mental health and keeping a calm mind. Pregnancy during the pandemic is certainly hard but not impossible. It is advisable to stay home as much as possible to avoid crowded spaces and follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines,” she said.

While pregnancy care may look a little different now than it used to earlier, here are a few tips to approach these changes:

Try to establish a daily routine of activities in a way that it becomes a new normal in your life. From your diet, meditation, and yoga, to skin care, getting adequate sleep, and regular medical checkups, make a list of all the things you do in a day and prioritise them.

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Establish a daily routine and schedule for yourself. Pixabay

If you need to step out for work or a checkup, remember to maintain social distancing and wear a mask and carry a sanitizer, as this can help reduce the risk of exposure to germs and bacteria.

Frequent checkups during pregnancy is vital for the mother and baby. So, check with your gynaecologist on online sessions for these checkups. If you are due to deliver, understand and be open about the delivery options and post-natal care.

As pregnancy skin care is an important aspect of your motherhood phase, include massages and moisturisation in your daily routine to help deal with common pregnancy skin concerns, Babshet said.

Indulge in a soothing massage using a massage oil; this will help promote blood circulation. You can also opt for a body butter that will help with dry skin issues. Whatever routine you follow, do remember to use products containing herbal actives and that are free from chemicals, she added.

Your baby gets nutrients from what you eat. Avoid binge-eating. Make it a priority to stick to a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables, and drink at least 8-10 glasses of water.

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One should take extra care of their diet during pregnancy and take balanced diet for the good health of the offspring. Pixabay

If you enjoy cooking, look up simple recipes online for a healthy immune system.

Manage your stress in different ways — practice breathing exercises to calm yourself and indulge in new hobbies or rediscover old ones. You can also take online courses on playing an instrument, learning a new language, or anything you have always wanted to do. You may also enjoy planning things for your baby’s arrival, like decorating a nursery.

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Talk to your doctor if you are anxious about your baby being exposed to the virus during breastfeeding. Always clean your nipple area before and after breastfeeding. Sanitise your hands, and the place around your baby, frequently.

In addition to following these tips, read and be aware of the potential symptoms of the virus and take preventive measures.

Avoid reading negative news about the current situation, which might cause anxiety.

Instead, use the screen time to talk to your friends and family, or watch something you enjoy. This will keep you happy and occupied. (IANS)

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Oil Pulling: An Ayurvedic Treatment to Boost Immunity

Oil pulling is an ancient treatment dateing back to more than 3,000 years

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Oil pulling can boost your Immunity. Pixabay

Oil pulling is regarded as an ancient Ayurveda treatment that dates back to more than 3,000 years.

Considered as a detoxification therapy, it is done by taking a spoonful of cold pressed virgin oil (preferably coconut oil) and swishing it in your mouth for about 5 minutes, similar to using a mouthwash. The purpose of oil pulling is to swish the oil around in your mouth, between the teeth to get rid of bacteria in the mouth, spit it out and immediately rinse with some warm water.

Nutritionist Sheryl Salis shares how oil pulling that can help improve your immunity, uses of virgin coconut oil and the method of oil pulling:

Oil pulling is an alternative health practice gaining traction in recent times not only for oral health but also as an immunity boosting measure. As the mouth is a home to millions of microbes including bacteria, the oil pulling process helps get rid of these bacteria through swishing oil in the mouth and in-between the teeth. Swishing the oil for a prolonged period cleanses the mouth and decreases the bacterial load. Not only does this promote oral hygiene, this technique aids in overall health and well-being.

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Other than basic precautions like sanitizing and washing hands, immunty is the key factor to protect yourself from COVID-19 pandemic. Pixabay

With the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, it is recommended to build and maintain a strong immune system to help combat the risk of being infected. While external precautionary measures like sanitizing and washing hands are essential, maintaining basic hygiene measures and eating healthy to build one’s immunity is of utmost importance.

Using virgin coconut oil to build immunity

Cold pressed virgin coconut oil is a superfood recommended for its myriad health benefits; it is a rich source of naturally occurring Lauric acid and contains Vitamin E which helps to improve body’s immunity. The medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) that contain lauric acid and caprylic acid strengthens the immune system and has anti-viral properties. Therefore, Adding 2 spoons of virgin coconut oil to the diet every day can help improve the immunity and maintain a healthy, holistic lifestyle.

In most Indian household’s, virgin coconut oil is a staple for consumption and beauty practices and is slowly making its way in the mainstream wellness community for oil pulling. Known for its immune boosting properties, virgin coconut oil can be introduced as an effective technique into your heath regime.

Oil Pulling
Virgin coconut oil is a staple for consumption and beauty practices. Pixabay

How to do it?

eStart by swishing it in your mouth on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning

Also Read: Ace Learning From Home During Lockdown

eTake about 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in the mouth and swish it for about 3-5 minutes.

eDiscard the oil by spitting it out. Do not swallow the oil as you will ingest the toxins with it as well

eRinse the mouth with warm water and brush your teeth as usual

eRepeat the process 3-4 times a week. (IANS)

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Travellers’ Wishlist for Post Pandemic World

Airbnb's internal data reveals future trip planning through search and wish lists created by guests

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People around the world are ready with their future travel plans. Pixabay

As communities around the world slowly begin to open their doors, the idea of future travel is beginning to inspire everyone who has been home sheltering according to Travel News.

From cozy mountain cabins to beat the summer, poolside respites to cool off the heat wave, it’s the outdoors which is calling out to everyone. People have spentmonths cocooned at home, and despite the fear, they want to get out and travel, to live again. As travel planning starts to rebound, Indians are eager to get out onto the road and drive down to their favourite spot for a short staycation.

Short “drivable” destinations are what people are looking at, as air travel remain uncertain, people want to get to a place within short travel time of their homes. The beaches of Goa, the mountains in Himachal, the cool air of Mahabaleshwar are just some of the domestic holiday destinations that are trending.

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The beaches of Goa is just one of the domestic holiday destinations that are trending. Pixabay

Airbnb’s internal data reveals early signs of future trip planning through search and wish lists created by guests ready to reconnect with each other and the world. Travel might be restricted for now, but that isn’t stopping guests from dreaming of one-of-a-kind experiences in far flung destinations. Week-over-week, guests are increasingly turning to wish lists to save listings they hope to travel to one day.

Luxury Penthouses and villas in Goa: India’s tourist hot spot, Goa, is now just a flight away. Travelers can book dreamy villas placed in the heart of Goa, that are perfect to satisfy your travel cravings. With breathtaking views, your own plunge pool and one or two friends or family is all you need.

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Airbnb’s internal data reveals early signs of future trip planning through search and wish lists created by guests. Pixabay

The pollution levels are at an all-time low and the view of the Himalayan Mountain tops are what most travelers are dreaming about. A road trip into the hills with cooler temperatures and the panoramic views of the snowy peaks from your personal sauna, are sure to tick some boxes of your travel bucket list. There are many cottages one can rent with amenities which will make you feel it’s your home away from home.

The Indian capital is home to lavish apartments that could turn your weekend around. From luxury terrace apartments to which farmhouses, its the perfect abode to take a short weekend staycation with your partner.

An artist studio in Jaipur surrounded by heritage buildings, palaces and forts will transport you to a bygone era.

Villas are also the top 10 most wish listed space types globally and they stand second in the wish list inclusions at more than 20 percent growth week-over-week4. When it comes to special occasions beach fronts were the top pick before lockdown. Top keywords from wish lists created in the last 60 days indicate guests are looking to Airbnb to commemorate special occasions that may have been cancelled and are also looking to enjoy the sun in the warmer months ahead.

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People are planning Getaway after the lockdown is lifted and travelling is permitted. Pixabay

Top wish list keywords include:

Beach

Birthday/Bday

Wedding

Honeymoon

Anniversary

Getaway

Vacation

2020, Summer, Summer 2020

Online Experiences – The New Dinner and a Show

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Online Experiences have swiftly evolved to be one of guests’ favorite ways to be transported to new destinations while at home, with 20,000 seats booked in the first two weeks since its launch in April.

According to a recently commissioned Airbnb online survey, 63 percent guests booked Online Experiences to be entertained, 60 percent to learn something new, and 67 percent chose to book to experience other cultures and lifestyles. Food and Drink is the most popular category, accounting for nearly 40 percent of seats booked, but guests are being drawn to a number of distinctive activities. (IANS)

Blood From Recovered COVID-19 Patients Can Help Treat Other Patients
Tips to Overcome Pandemic Effects During Pregnancy
Oil Pulling: An Ayurvedic Treatment to Boost Immunity
Travellers’ Wishlist for Post Pandemic World