We discussed this issue here a few days ago, so it is interesting that there will be local participation. On reading the article, I noticed that the proposed study follows the problem I raised here, of not treating until too late. So, I emailed Dr Michael Joyer at the Mayo Clinic, who is running the study, early this morning
“Dear Dr Joyner,
As a 71 year old asthmatic with polycythemia, I have been following the efforts to find effective treatments for Covid-19 with some interest. Our local newspaper ran an article on participation by local hospitals in a study of convalescent plasma in which you are involved. Of course, articles in lay media on studies tend to be superficial, but as described, I am concerned about the methodology.
The article said the serum would be tried on patients with ‘severe disease.’ My understanding is that Covid-19 has an early phase of rapid viral multiplication followed by a second phase of viral decline but increased immune system response, and that it is in that second phase that patients become severely ill, and that the testing of convalescent plasma would be in that second phase.
Consider that if the popular antiviral drug for the seasonal flu, Tamiflu, were tested in that manner, it would fail, as the window for using it is in the initial phase of the flu.
I am concerned that using convalescent plasma in the second phase will also fail, even though had it been given in the first phase of rapid viral replication, it might well have been successful in preventing a severe second phase.
Would it not be more effective to administer the serum as soon as a diagnosis is made, at least in individuals like myself with a high risk of a severe second phase?
I am no virologist, but 40 years in dentistry treating severe bacterial infections taught me that often, timing is everything.
Thank you for your time and consideration, I really would like to see convalescent plasma given a fair and successful trial.
Wm. Donald Tabor Jr., DDS”
And in less than an hour I received a reply
“Dr. Tabor….. things are heading in the direction you mention.
It is good to know the study is being run by a morning person.