If you've already recovered from COVID-19, you may be able to help others fight off the disease.

As cases of the novel coronavirus surge in states outside New Jersey, Bergen County-based Vitalant (previously Community Blood Services) is encouraging people here to assist the hardest-pressed healthcare facilities by donating a specific component of their blood.

Convalescent plasma, the liquid part of your blood, is what contains antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, at least in those humans who've already beat it.

"Those antibodies may provide seriously ill patients with an extra boost in fighting the disease," said Bob Kessler, Vitalant's senior manager of donor recruitment.

Kessler said while the coronavirus battle is not over in New Jersey, and there's still a need for this plasma here, they're also in a position to help out patients in other parts of the country. Vitalant serves hundreds of hospitals across the United States.

Vitalant is accepting convalescent donations at locations in Montvale, Paramus and Parsippany. Those interested in donating can check here.

According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, only people who have fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks are encouraged to consider donating plasma. There is no approved treatment for the respiratory disease, but there is some information that suggests convalescent plasma might help patients recover, the FDA said.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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