Researchers develop "last defence" treatment against swine flu
Hong Kong researchers have developed a treatment for people infected by swine flu using the antibodies from blood plasma from patients who recovered from the disease, a media report said Thursday.
According to the study, 30 critically ill patients in Hong Kong were given the treatment after they failed to respond to antiviral drugs Tamilflu and Relenza and most recovered, the South China Morning Post reported, without giving detailed figures of the recoveries, DPA reported.
Antibodies in the plasma can kill the H1N1 virus in severely ill patients.
Dr Ivan Hung, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Hong Kong, who led the study, said: "Some of them died subsequently, but we have enough evidence to conclude that the antibodies are an effective cure, as most patients have since recovered."
Hung thought the treatment could also be effective against other viruses.
The research team also included teams from the Hong Kong Red Cross and the Hospital Authority.
The H1N1 swine flu virus was discovered in Mexico in March last year. In Hong Kong, 282 people developed severe complications from the virus, and 80 of them died. More than 18,200 people died worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.