11% of donated blood has Covid-19 antibodies in Latvia

11% of donors who come to donate blood have antibodies which show that Covid-19 has been present, Latvian Television reported February 22.

It is interesting that a large part of the donors had not known about it or perceived Covid-19 as a mild cold and did not perform the test. The State blood establishment has also observed that the possibility of detecting antibodies free of charge is an additional incentive for many to donate blood.

The majority – 90% of blood donors – want to know if there are antibodies in their blood. This option is offered free of charge to donors.

This year, 5,593 samples have been checked from January 4 to February 16 and 619 positive cases of antibodies have been detected. This amounts to 11% of all tested, compared to 1.5% last year.

This makes one think that there are more and more people in society that easily overcome the virus, sometimes without even knowing it.

“This year, an average of 19 donors a day from what we're testing are with antibodies. It's only this year. We see this in over 10 per cent in society,” said Egita Pole, director of the State Blood Donor Center.

Blood may be donated on the 14th day following the recovery of Covid-19. The fact a person has had Covid-19 doesn't mean that the blood is useless. On the contrary, blood plasma in many countries is used in the treatment of severely ill Covid-19 patients. In Latvia, however, this method is not used, although it would be possible to prepare plasma in the required amount.

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