COVID-19 treatment keeping hundreds from being hospitalized and very sick

IV drip
IV drip(wbrc)
Updated: Jan. 5, 2021 at 10:27 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Days after the new year, hospitals across the state were overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and many of them were doing everything they could to prevent people from getting extremely sick from the virus.

It’s the same treatment President Trump received when he was hospitalized with COVID-19 in October.

“It’s a one-hour infusion of a monoclonal antibody,” UAB infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Saag explained.

Dr. Saag participated in administering the treatment, which was a one-time outpatient procedure.

“What it is, is the same antibody that’s produced by the vaccination, except this is premade and then you infuse it, and you shut down the infection much earlier than it would be otherwise. And it also reduces the symptoms and reduces hospitalization and the degree of severe illness,” he further explained.

Dr. Saag said more than 250 people across the state had gotten the treatment and out of that number, only five needed to be hospitalized.

To get the treatment, the person must be diagnosed early. The patient is required to be 65 or older or younger than 65 with an underlying condition.

Saag said hospitals were working to expand the program.

“We’re trying to create a statewide network to soften the impact of what is almost certainly going to be an increasing surge of cases over the next 2 to 3 weeks following the holidays,” Saag said.

To get enrolled in the program, have your primary care physician call UAB.

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