LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — With coronavirus numbers on the rise again, some doctors are pinning hope on a relatively new way to fight the virus. Since November of last year, doctors have been using what’s called Monoclonal Antibody Therapy to help treat COVID-19 patients.
Dr. Patrick Olivieri, medical director of ER at Blue Diamond said they have provided more than 200 patients with this therapy and there have been no side effects or concerns from the patients who received the therapy.
It is not the silver bullet to killing this virus, but it is a treatment helping to put an end to the spread. Dr. Olivier said so far results have been positive.
“Our internal data matches the studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and it has been safe for patients, keeping a couple out of the hospital and it has been a great thing for the Vegas community,” said Olivieri.
He said when a person gets sick our bodies create antibodies to fight the infection. With COVID-19, the virus is replicating rapidly before our bodies have the chance to create antibodies. With this treatment, antibodies are given to the patient who is sick with COVID-19 to stop the virus from replicating.
“It has to be combined with other public health efforts, it is not a replacement for masks or vaccines, but it is something else to add to help prevent our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed,” Olivieri said.
Dr. Olivieri said this treatment is for high-risk individuals who have been infected with COVID-19. But as of last week, the FDA expanded the eligibility for this treatment. Allowing patients who are not COVID-19 positive but have been exposed and are at high risk to receive the treatment.
“We do it as safely as humanly possible, you are monitored for an hour during and after the infusion and it is a real chance to prevent some people from getting truly sick from COVID-19,” said Olivieri.
To find out if you meet the specific criteria to receive this therapy click here.