With the most recent outbreak of the coronavirus, Covid-19, researchers have been working tirelessly to find treatments for the pervasive illness. At the time of publishing, there were 60 total cases in the U.S., but that figure will likely jump due to the illness’s easy transmission and long incubation period.
While experts are diligently working on vaccines and drugs, one surprising treatment has demonstrated efficacy for combatting the illness: stem cell therapy. Find out more about the virus and how stem cell therapy has already helped an infected patient make a remarkable recovery below.
Coronavirus: Fast Facts
While researchers are still learning more about the virus, it appears that Covid-19 can be passed from person-to-person and by touching infected surfaces or objects—similar to how influenza is spread. To complicate matters, experts are finding that the virus spreads easily compared to other illnesses, and has a two- to 14-day incubation period (the time between when the illness is contracted and symptoms appear).
The majority of cases reported thus far have been mild, with symptoms such as cough, fever, and shortness of breath. Yet, approximately 20% of cases become severe, leading to acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. The fatality rate is roughly 2%, which is significantly higher than the 0.1% death rate of the seasonal flu, for instance.
As with most serious illnesses, the coronavirus appears to pose the greatest risk for certain populations, including the infirm and older adults. According to recent findings, stem cell therapy appears to hold promise for treating these populations when they’ve become infected by the coronavirus.
Stem Cell Therapy for Coronavirus
In a new study by Chinese scientists, a 65-year-old woman with diabetes who became seriously ill after contracting the coronavirus made an impressive recovery after receiving stem cell therapy injections. The woman was “fighting for her life” in intensive care at a Chinese hospital almost two weeks after becoming infected.
In a novel treatment approach, the patient received an injection of umbilical cord-derived stem cells. Within four days, she was on back up on her feet again. Previously, she had received antiviral medications and antibiotics, as well as oxygen therapy, which improved her condition but only temporarily. Shortly thereafter, she was admitted to the ICU where her condition continued to worsen, with severe symptoms including organ failure, until her family agreed to begin stem cell therapy.
Stem cell therapy was first suggested as a possible treatment for the severe organ damage caused by Covid-19. It employs the use of powerful, adaptive early-stage cells that have the incredible ability to give rise to multiple types of fully-functioning cells, such as those found in specific types of organs and tissues. Animal testing has shown that stem cell therapy could repair the damage caused by the virus.
Indeed, researchers’ suspicions appear to be true: after experiencing no adverse effects upon receiving the initial dose, the patient received a second shot of stem cells three days later. The next day, she was able to walk with minimal help. Two days after her third and final shot, she left ICU, and her vital signs have since returned to normal. She has also now tested negative for the coronavirus. This case is among 14 others currently testing the use of stem cell therapy for coronavirus treatment.
A doctor in China’s Hunan province says the research confirms stem cell therapy can yield significant results within just three days. He stated that the medical community must be “bold and innovative” in embracing the approach, while other doctors have backed his position, stating that stem cell therapy is “safe and effective.”
While it may be some time before we see stem cell therapy being used to combat deadly virus outbreaks stateside, it’s clear that the treatment could be the antidote to the deadliest cases of the illness, especially for individuals who may be least equipped to fight it.
Call a Stemedix Care Coordinator today for information about treatments available to you at 800-531-0831.