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Monoclonal antibody treatment helping mitigate severe COVID symptoms at Cenla hospitals

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 7:14 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - With the rising number of COVID-19 cases, local hospitals like Christus St. Frances Cabrini are using a monoclonal antibody treatment to help mitigate the severity of symptoms in the early stages of a COVID-19 infection.

“The monoclonal antibodies are antibodies that are specific to COVID-19. They produce large amounts of these antibodies and when a person gets infected, they then give them these antibodies and it helps a person’s immune system clear the virus,” said Dr. Jose Zapatero, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs for St. Frances Cabrini Hospital.

Currently, the treatment is reserved for people who are particularly susceptible to severe COVID-19 symptoms and meet certain criteria set by the FDA.

The treatment is only administered in the first ten days of infection before severe symptoms develop.

“It definitely prevents people from being admitted to the hospital and developing severe COVID-19. Some patients we give the monoclonal antibody to, the next day they feel significantly better,” said Dr. Zapatero. “If a person is hospitalized, it is too late to give them monoclonal antibodies.”

Dr. Zapatero said to protect yourself during the spike in cases in Central Louisiana, the public should follow mask guidelines and get vaccinated.

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