CORONAVIRUS CZAR UPDATES ON COUNTY ALERT MAP, PLASMA USE,
West Virginia Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh provided several updates
during his remarks Monday.
First, he offered clarification on the differences between the West
Virginia County Alert System map and a similar map by the Harvard Global
Health Institute, which served as the original inspiration for the school
“They're going to be slightly different,” Dr. Marsh said. “Remember, the
difference in the two maps is that the Harvard map counts all cases:
community spread cases and congregate cases, including nursing home
residents, correctional facilities inmates, and so on. The West Virginia
school map just focuses on the community spread.”
Dr. Marsh went on to provide an update about ongoing plans to stand up a
plasma donation operation in West Virginia.
“The convalescent plasma – the immune plasma which is a blood product
that is used from people that have recovered from COVID-19 to give to
people who are really sick with COVID-19 – was approved by the Federal
Drug Administration for emergency use authorization,” Dr. Marsh said.
“Basically what that means is we will start being able to give the
convalescent plasma, not necessarily using only a clinical trial.
“That will change the game because, in people that are really ill, in the
ICU, on ventilators, if the convolution plasma is given in the first day
or so, then the reduction in death is 36 percent,” Dr. Marsh continued.
Finally, Dr. Marsh cautioned West Virginians that public health officials
have confirmed that a man from Hong Kong, who recovered from COVID-19
once, has become reinfected.
“That's not really a surprise to us because we know that COVID-19 is a
coronavirus and coronaviruses are yearly viruses,” Dr. Marsh said. “So,
if you had a coronavirus last year, you still can get it this year. So we
knew that the immune response may not be lasting and this was about four
months from the first infection.
“We have known that antibody levels go down over three to four months in
a number of people,” Dr. Marsh continued. “So that really tells us that
if you've gotten COVID-19 then you may well be protected against a more
severe form, but it doesn't completely protect you from getting COVID-19
“This is a real warning for a lot of our younger people and people that
may not consider themselves so vulnerable because we know now that
getting the disease is not necessarily a lifetime of immune protection.”