Some Ohio State students diagnosed with the mumps virus are receiving $400 for the donation of their blood plasma at Access Plasma/Saturn Biomedical in Indianapolis.
Michael Vieth, a fourth-year in computer and information science who has the mumps, found out about the opportunity when an email regarding the need for blood donors who were diagnosed with the mumps virus was forwarded to him from the president of his fraternity.
Shannon Coates, senior donor recruiter at Access Biologicals LLC, said once the company heard about the mumps outbreak at OSU, she sent out emails to sororities and fraternities on campus explaining its study.
“Mumps is really not that common. With the (mumps, measles and rubella) vaccine, you usually do not hear about the virus. Once we heard about the outbreak at Ohio State, we knew that it would be very helpful for our study,” she said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 116 mumps cases had been reported in Franklin County, five more than Monday’s count. Ninety-three of the 116 cases were linked to the OSU outbreak with 74 OSU students, nine OSU staff, nine people with OSU links and one family member of someone with OSU ties affected, according to a Columbus Public Health release.
Vieth acted upon the opportunity to give plasma and made an appointment along with a friend, another OSU student diagnosed with the mumps.
“I decided to get the procedure done because having the mumps and receiving $400 is better than just having the mumps,” Vieth said.
Access Plasma/Saturn Biomedical provided all travel reimbursements, Vieth said.
“We received our check immediately after donating the plasma,” he said.
Coates said the compensation rate varies.
“The compensation rate is dependent on their levels of the virus. Typically we offer anywhere between $100 to $400. We provide mileage reimbursements and hotel accommodations,” Coates said.
The normal compensation rate for blood plasma of someone who is healthy is usually about $30 to $35, she said.
Plasma is the liquid portion of blood. The procedure uses a single needle, and the blood is put through a process that spins the plasma away from blood cells and platelets and then returns blood cells and platelets back to the donor, Coates said.
“It only takes your body 24 hours to reproduce blood plasma, unlike donating cold blood, which takes your body eight weeks,” she said.
Vieth said the procedure was a lot like donating blood.
“I wasn’t nervous for the procedure because I have given blood before and I heard that donating plasma was pretty much the same thing,” Vieth said. “The procedure was the same except after the machine drew the blood out, it removed the plasma and then returned the blood back into my body. They emphasized that is was important for us to eat and to drink a lot of fluids.”
Vieth said he was told the plasma was going to be shipped to the Access Biologicals LLC corporate office in Vista, Calif., the next day to test for the mumps antibodies.
The company gathers the antibody of a virus through donations of blood plasma and then uses it to diagnose a disease, Coates said.
“In-vitro diagnostics is what we help create, and then that is used to diagnose someone else with that certain virus,” she said.
In-vitro diagnostics are tests that can detect diseases.
Mumps is a viral infection of the salivary glands, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. It can spread through coughing, sneezing or contact with saliva or mucus. According to the CDC website, the disease can be carried without any symptoms.
Those who are affected by mumps might have swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears or jaw on the side of the face, fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite and inflammation of the testicles in men, according to the CDC. The website also says there is no specific treatment for mumps, but it is usually gone in a week or two.
The onset of the first case connected to the Franklin County outbreak was Jan. 7, while the first case connected to the OSU outbreak was Feb. 10.