Dispensed Daily: Developing a coronavirus drug based on patients’ blood — COVID-19’s effects on the nervous system — Economic assistance programs are ending

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Dr. Zhou Min, a recovered COVID-19 patient who has passed his 14-day quarantine, donates plasma in the city’s blood centre in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province, February 18, 2020. Chinatopix via AP

A plasma-derived treatment for COVID-19

Over the weekend, Andrew Dunn reports on the attempts to make a plasma-derived coronavirus treatment.

By now you’ve probably heard about the use of convalescent plasma in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, which uses part of the donated blood of recovered COVID-19 patients with the hopes of boosting the immune system’s response in people actively fighting off the virus.

Well 10 drugmakers, including Japanese pharma giant Takeda, are looking at a way to standardize that process, making a plasma-based therapy that could come in handy as we face the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic later this year.

You can read the full story here:

10 drugmakers are working together to develop a treatment based on the blood of COVID-19 survivors, and they plan to start testing in humans next month

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Many coronavirus patients suffer dizziness, delirium, and difficulty concentrating because COVID-19 targets the entire nervous system

  • In a new review of research, doctors found that nearly half of hospitalized COVID-19 patients experience neurological symptoms including dizziness, a loss of smell and taste, and difficulty concentrating.
  • The study authors say these symptoms may appear before the more telltale coronavirus signs, like fever and difficulty breathing.
  • Other experts and survivors have detailed worrying short- and long-term cognitive symptoms that the findings help to frame.

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12 weeks ago Congress rushed in to save the US from economic collapse. But now all its assistance programs are ending.

  • The federal assistance programs that tided over jobless workers and struggling businesses early on in the pandemic are set to expire this summer.
  • Congress is barreling towards the July deadline, setting up a cliff that could lead to critical aid being yanked from struggling people.
  • “What really concerns me is people relying on the somewhat rosy jobs picture,” labour expert Michelle Evermore says. “That was the kind of thing that pushed the Great Depression into a double-dip, easing stimulus too soon.”

More stories we’re reading: