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FGCU to Conduct COVID-19 Antibody Study of Lee County Residents & Convalescent Plasma Trial Update

This media comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library (PHIL), with identification number #23312.

Lee County is providing up to $450,000 in funding from the $134.5 million dollars it received through the CARES Act for Florida Gulf Coast University to conduct a COVID-19 antibody study, similar to ones that have been conducted in Santa Clara County and New York State. The goal is to determine how many people may have contracted the new coronavirus but never showed symptoms.

The FGCU study will test a cross-section of Lee County residents – 4000 in all – to find out how many of them may have been positive for COVID-19 at some point, but were asymptomatic. To learn more we're joined by the study lead, Dr. Krista Casazza, Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship in the Marieb College of Health & Human Services at FGCU.

Plus, for the past two months Lee Health has been participating in Mayo Clinic’s nationwide convalescent plasma trial. It’s one of 2,486 sites where researchers are seeking to determine whether plasma extracted from the blood of people who have recovered from COVID-19 might be a beneficial treatment for people who currently have it.

The first phase of the study seeks to determine whether it's safe to use the plasma, and Mayo Clinic researchers and collaborators say initial data show confirms that is the case. We get the latest on that trial and the local effort Lee Health's lead researcher, infectious disease doctor Doug Brust. Anyone wishing to volunteer to donate blood can call 239-343-2332 or email covid.plasma@leehealth.org.