Health Highlights: Aug. 25, 2020
Olympian Usain Bolt Reported to Have COVID-19 Plasma Therapy for COVID-19 Still Experimental: WHO
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Olympian Usain Bolt Reported to Have COVID-19
Eight-time Olympic running champion Usain Bolt has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Jamaican newspaper, but the world's fastest man hasn't confirmed he has the disease.
The Gleaner newspaper said Jamaica's health ministry said that Bolt's test was positive, according to the Reuters news agency.
On Monday, Bolt said he's self-quarantining after being tested for COVID-19 on Saturday, but didn't say if he had the illness. In a Twitter video, Bolt said he had no symptoms, but told friends he'd been in contact with to take precautions, CBS News reported.
Friends threw Bolt a surprise birthday party on Saturday that was attended by sports and music stars, according to Jamaican newspapers.
Plasma Therapy for COVID-19 Still Experimental: WHO
The use of blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors to treat patients hospitalized with the disease is still considered experimental, the World Health Organization said the day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it would allow emergency use of the therapy.
On Sunday, the FDA authorized "emergency use" of the treatment, something the agency can do to make promising experimental drugs available during a public health crisis, the Associated Press reported.
However, that does not mean that plasma therapy for COVID-19 has been proven safe and effective.
The WHO noted that the FDA's decision has many scientists concerned that formal studies currently underway to assess the therapy will be sidelined, the AP reported.
So far, results from those studies "are not conclusive," WHO's chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said. "At the moment, it's still very low-quality evidence."
"Of course, countries can do an emergency listing if they feel the benefits outweigh the risks," she said. "But that's usually done when you're waiting for the more definitive evidence."