COVID-19 Town Hall: Recovering from coronavirus

1 month 3 weeks 5 days ago Tuesday, April 07 2020 Apr 7, 2020 Tuesday, April 07, 2020 7:53:00 PM CDT April 07, 2020 in News
By: Emily Spain, KOMU 8 Anchor
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KOMU 8's Emily Spain talked with Dr. Christelle Ilboudo about recovering from COVID-19 and when it's safe for people with the virus to go back to their normal routines. 

Dr. Ilboudo is a pediatric infectious disease doctor with MU Health Care. Below are her answers on topics from antibody testing to using blood plasma from recovered patients as a treatment option. 

Q: When is it safe for people who tested positive for COVID-19 to go back in public?

"First the fevers have to be gone without the help of medications. They have to be at least a week [since] the first time that they had symptoms. And, those symptoms have to have improved, such as cough and shortness of breath. For some patients, we do recommend testing and so, they will still require the criteria that I described earlier, but will need to test about 24 hours apart in order for them to be cleared to go back to their normal routine."

She added patients should also follow the guidance of their doctor and local health department. 

Q: Are you immune after you recover from the virus?

"We think you are. There are some studies out now that show that people do develop antibodies. I think the question that remains is whether or not that immunity is going to be long lasting. We think it will be, but it's still very early to tell."

Q: Will there be an antibody test available for people to know whether they are immune or had the virus unknowingly?

"I'm not sure if an antibody test will necessarily answer that question of immunity. The study that I have seen so far shows that some people even as they're making these antibodies can still shed the virus. But, overtime that virus shedding goes away and their antibody levels maintain. Again, it's very early to say how long that's going to last and whether or not a test like that will be applicable for us to say people are clear to go back to work. So, I know that there are places that are working on it, but there's more information that we have still yet to determine."

Q: Does blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients show promise as a treatment?

"There are currently ongoing clinical trials for that. If you go on the Red Cross' website, there is a form that you can fill you if you are a patient who has recovered from COVID-19 and they will call you to set up an appointment to collect the blood and they are looking at using that in some cases. Again, you have to go through the clinical trial route through your physician to qualify for that, but we don't yet know how well it works compared to everything else that we are currently trying."

If you want to learn more about pregnancy and COVID-19, check out the MU Women's and Children's Facebook page for recent videos answering questions about that topic. 

To view more COVID-19 Town Halls, check out the related stories below.

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