Doctors hoarding drugs + COVID-19 may target nervous system? + Convalescent plasma

Lost Smell and Taste Hint COVID-19 Can Target the Nervous System

“This is something to keep a careful eye on,” says Matthew Anderson, a neuropathologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “There’s been some intriguing observations in previous studies on viruses, including coronaviruses, to show that they have the capacity to enter the nervous system.” It’s important that this be considered for SARS-CoV-2 and for “people to do the experiments, including autopsies, to look for signs of this damage.”

Because COVID-19 has symptoms similar to the flu, “much of the attention could get diverted towards the pulmonary aspect of SARS-CoV-2, while neural involvement may remain covert,” Mannan says. When a patient begins to exhibit severe neurological symptoms, such as a loss of involuntary breathing, it may be “too late to prevent fatalities.”

How blood from coronavirus survivors might save lives

A key advantage to convalescent plasma is that it’s available immediately, whereas drugs and vaccines take months or years to develop. Infusing blood in this way seems to be relatively safe, provided that it is screened for viruses and other components that could cause an infection. Scientists who have led the charge to use plasma want to deploy it now as a stopgap measure, to keep serious infections at bay and hospitals afloat as a tsunami of cases comes crashing their way.

Doctors Are Hoarding Unproven Coronavirus Medicine by Writing Prescriptions for Themselves and Their Families

A nationwide shortage of two drugs touted as possible treatments for the coronavirus is being driven in part by doctors inappropriately prescribing the medicines for family, friends and themselves, according to pharmacists and state regulators. “It’s disgraceful, is what it is,” said Garth Reynolds, executive director of the Illinois Pharmacists Association, which started getting calls and emails Saturday from members saying they were receiving questionable prescriptions. “And completely selfish.”

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