Stem Cells and the Coronavirus

corona-virus

Stem Cells and the Coronavirus

The Coronavirus still has no cure or vaccine in sight. Some people have resorted to untested medical treatments, like combining different respiratory medications. Others have turned to homeopathic remedies. Many people have wondered about the effectiveness of stem cells on coronavirus. To date, the science is murky.

The Immunology of the Coronavirus

Understanding virology is the foundation of understanding how to combat the virus. The coronavirus is an enveloped, linear, single-stranded RNA virus with a helical capsid. Most often, it causes the common cold, but it has also been also responsible for larger outbreaks. While COVID-19 is its newest rendition, older pandemics caused by the coronavirus include Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). It is transmitted through respiratory secretions. For example, when someone coughs, the virus passes from their respiratory tract into the air or onto their hands. It can then be passed into someone else’s respiratory tract. This is why masks and hand-washing are so vital to stopping the spread of the disease.

Current Methods of Treatment

The current treatment of the virus essentially revolves around prevention. As stated above, prevention includes masks and hand-washing. It also includes social distancing. Social distancing decreases the chance that the virus can infect another person’s respiratory system.

Disinfecting commonly used surfaces is a major way to kill the virus. The most effective and accessible disinfectants are bleach, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide. Government agencies have also approved lists of effective disinfectants. They have also provided guides to help businesses and individuals understand how to disinfect their spaces once it is safe to open up again.

In the hospital, the method of treatment often depends on the individual. Some people may not even need to go to the hospital. However, since many people who develop COVID also have another serious medical condition, sometimes it becomes necessary to escalate care. Often, COVID-19 patients develop sudden difficulty breathing. To prevent respiratory failure, many patients are quickly intubated. This means that, after they are sedated, a tube goes into
their mouth, down their throat, and into their trachea. If they are able to breathe on their own, they may. If they are unable to breathe on their own, the respirator will breathe for them.

Stem Cells and Coronavirus

As a vaccine is still far away, many people have been looking for alternative definitive cures. One of those options is stem cells. Stem cells, the naturally occurring cells in the body that can turn into many different kinds of helpful cells, could theoretically help treat coronavirus. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is so new that stem cells have not been tested and verified. However, that has not stopped some people from making claims.

Stem cells are very complicated. They can be harvested from many different tissues in the body, such as blood, fat, bone, and umbilical tissue. They can also be administered back into the body via different routes, such as intramuscularly or intravenously, or even in the spinal canal space. Stem cells can also be introduced at different dosages and different intervals. Scientific studies normally examine all of these variables. They research how effective
the treatments are depending on the cell type, how safe and effective it is depending on the delivery method, and which dose is best. Without proper testing and research, safety and efficacy cannot be verified. While stem cells could be effective against coronavirus, there is simply no study yet.

Summary

Stem cells may work against coronavirus, but unfortunately, there is not enough evidence to support any claim as of yet. COVID-19 is a new, challenging strain of the coronavirus. The scientific community is still trying to discover the best treatment and vaccine. At the Stem Cell Transplant Institute, we follow all scientific guidelines to provide you with the best guidance possible. If you would like to learn more about your health options, please contact us today.

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