Monoclonal Antibody treatment eases Covid-19 symptoms
The human body’s immune system fights diseases with antibodies, but when presented with a new virus, like the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19, it can struggle to keep up. While vaccines are designed to stimulate the body’s immune system to fight something specific, like Covid-19, they take time to reach full effectiveness. But what scientists have done is create antibodies in the lab to help lessen the impact of the disease. These are monoclonal antibodies.
Dr. Christy Tuomi, the Infection Prevention Lede at South Peninsula Hospital said they are used in patients who are at high risk for complications and hospitalization from Covid.
“We think of those that are at high risk for developing severe disease. And those are patients that are over 65, have a BMI of greater than 25, maybe pregnant, have chronic kidney disease or diabetes, have heart disease, lung disease and some other chronic medical conditions. And there's actually quite a long list of people that are at risk for severe disease,” she said.
Tuomi said MAB infusions are being administered locally, with good success.
“We've had many infusions given and they've been tolerated well, and we're hopeful that that's going to help keep the hospital able to care for the patients that don't do well or need other care at the hospital so that we can keep our capacity up to take the best care of patients possible,” she said.
Alaska Public Health Nurse Lorne Carroll said monoclonal antibody treatment is exceptionally effective in keeping patients from needing hospitalization.
“They reduce that risk of symptomatic Covid-19 disease by 80 percent. So given a hundred that would be symptomatic and potentially be hospitalized, this would prevent 80 out of that 100.”
South Peninsula Hospital spokesperson Derotha Ferraro said SPH has administered 20 MAB infusions in the past week. She also stressed that patients must get a referral from their personal health care provider to receive the treatment.
“Providers, can't read your mind and know that you're home sick. And so it's really important that if you've received a positive test result, you know, you have COVID in your home and maybe you've moved on to, this is more than a cold, please reach out to your provider because this, we have the treatment available and it might be just what you need.”
You can hear more about monoclonal antibodies, the Delta Variant and more on the Covid Brief.