RefuahHealth is privileged to be part of a coronavirus treatment trial spearheaded by Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Known as convalescent plasma, the trial involves a century-old technique that takes antibodies from the blood of persons who have survived an illness and transfers those antibodies to an infected person.
In this case, doctors are looking for antibodies from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the trial in late March. “There have been tests that show when a person is injected with antibodies, that then stimulates and promotes their immune system against that disease,” Governor Cuomo said during a news briefing.
Refuah offers onsite antibody testing at its Main Street location. Testing takes place on a mobile unit in the back parking lot and is open to individuals who’ve recovered from COVID-19. Participants do not need to have tested positive for the virus, but should have experienced its classical symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.) more than 14 days ago. To be tested, an individual must be 18 years or older and symptom free for at least 14 days, though 21 days is preferred.
The test involves a simple blood draw and results are usually available within 48 to 72 hours. Results show if an individual who has recovered from COVID-19 has developed immunity to the virus. Though doctors are not sure how long immunity will last or if it will prevent reinfection, those whose results indicate immunity should have added protection against the virus and transferring the virus. These are the family members who should shop for groceries or deliver goods to the elderly or immunocompromised.
If test results show that an individual’s antibody count is high enough, Mount Sinai will contact him/her to see if they’d like to participate in the treatment trial and donate blood. Participation is optional.
Since Refuah began offering screenings on April 3, the Center has tested over 1,101 individuals. Of the 590 available results, 288 patients (49%) have been identified as possible donors. An additional 490 are scheduled for testing with more signing up daily.
Refuah has also dispatched testing mobiles to Great Neck and Kiryas Joel. Testing is offered at multiple locations weekdays, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. If you qualify and are interested, please report to the RefuahHealth mobile at the Center’s Main Street location.