Adams Co. health officials explain decision to report recovered numbers

The Adams County Health Department started reporting the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 Monday.

While the State of Iowa reports a daily recovered number, Missouri and Illinois state officials do not report such a number, saying they have no way to get an accurate count.

Some national healthcare experts have argued the recovered numbers are skewed because there is no uniform criteria on what “recovered” means.

“Is there a definition and what is that definition?” public health administrator Jerrod Welch said. “Ultimately if you’re going to report it you have to be clear about what you’re reporting.”

Welch said it’s still a work in progress, but they have a pretty good idea of what they want.

“What were going to do is in our reporting it’s going to be they’re going to be considered resolved, recovered at the point 14 days past any symptoms of the disease,” he said.

Doctors at Blessing Hospital said they chose that definition for another reason.

“That’s when convalescent patients can begin donating their plasma to the Red Cross,” Dr. Mary Frances Barthel said

She said experimental studies have shown plasma from recovered patients could be a good source of antibodies.

“Antibodies are your bodies immune response to killing the virus particles after you’re infected,” Dr. Barthel said.

She said the treatment could be a big boost for those who are critically ill.

“We could assume that giving these antibodies in the serum from the recovered patients to those patient who are still very sick could help,” Dr. Barthel said.

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