Potential new coronavirus treatment involves blood-plasma therapy, Dr. Ian Lipkin says

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Dr. Ian Lipkin, an infectious disease expert from Columbia University, recently told "Lou Dobbs Tonight" that a new blood-plasma therapy could help treat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The professor of neurology and pathology said he journeyed to China in January to discover a  new way to fight the virus and recently received a study that showed patients receiving successful plasma-therapy treatment.

"One of the reasons I went to China at the end of January was to figure out what they were doing that was different, to treat people," he said.


"About a week ago, I got a paper from a friend of mine, the former minister of health... telling me that he had treated 10 patients with plasma therapy – antibodies that have been taken from patients who'd recovered," Lipkin continued. "All 10 of these patients did well. This is an old method that we used before we had antibiotics, and it'll work here too."

He said during his March 11 interview that volunteers who have recovered from the virus likely will be asked to come forward to offer plasma, in an effort to help doctors craft a cure.

"One of the things that we're going to be trying to do is to ask people who have recovered from this infection to volunteer to provide plasma – there are a number of people who're beginning to think about this – so that we can use actually use this to treat other citizens, other people around the world who are infected," Lipkin added. "This is something that we think will make a huge difference in morbidity and mortality. This is available right now."

He also claimed the study showed that one person's plasma donations would be enough to treat three patients.


"It’s not like donating units of blood, it’s not as debilitating," Lipkin said. "This is going to be easy to do and it's going to be a very, very helpful fix until we have the vaccine."

The World Health Organization [WHO] announced it could have a vaccine for the virus within 18 months.

As of Wednesday, there have been some 1,100 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. with 30 deaths.