Miami Mayor Francis Suarez considers himself fortunate. Although he tested positive for coronavirus, his case was relatively mild.
Last week, he received good news that he is no longer positive for COVID-19.
Soon after testing negative for the virus, he donated plasma in hopes that it can be used by a critically ill coronavirus patient.
“Those of us who are fortunate enough like I was to experience mild symptoms or very low symptoms have to give back,” Suarez said. “Now I realize since I’m on the other side of this and I was one of the early patients and probably one of the first people in Florida, one of the first in the nation to donate plasma.”
Celtics player Marcus Smart, who was among a contingent of NBA players who tested positive, also promoted plasma donations among COVID-19 survivors.
Last month, 170 physician-scientists from 50 universities and hospitals across the nation launched the National Convalescent Plasma Project, studying the use of convalescent plasma in COVID-19 treatment and prevention.
“As of April 1, more than 1,100 plasma donors have registered, but we need more,” Michigan State University epidemiologist Nigel Paneth said. “We are developing a coordination plan with Red Cross and other agencies to collect and distribute plasma. We also are working directly with the FDA to obtain clearance to use convalescent plasma in trials, and in certain situations, outside of a trial framework.”
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