The North Alabama Medical Center in Florence told WAAY 31 it's seen a huge success with the monoclonal antibody treatment for coronavirus patients.
Back in November, the monoclonal antibody treatment was given emergency usage by the FDA. Since then, the hospital has been using it on people with mild coronavirus cases. Out of the 500 people they've given it to, only 12 have had to be hospitalized.
"It's lab-produced, and what it does is it mimics the actual antibodies in the body and it doesn't allow the virus to reproduce once inside the system," said NAMC's associate administrator, Casey Willis.
The treatment is a series of lab-made proteins given together in an infusion. It's an outpatient treatment that hospitals are seeing a lot of success with, but it must be given in the first ten days of symptoms to be very effective.
"We've seen less than 3% of patients who receive this outpatient infusion come back to be admitted, and that's been critical for us right now. Just with every hospital, we've been so full and overrun with Covid," said Willis.
Willis said people with coronavirus who have underlying conditions like diabetes, heart issues or who are overweight qualify for the treatment once they are diagnosed with coronavirus.
"It's a great way to keep patients that are at a higher risk of developing complications from Covid to keep them from getting so much sicker and ending up in the hospital," said Willis.
Willis said if you get coronavirus and are over the age of 55 with an underlying health condition, your doctor can refer you to the hospital to get the treatment. She said this gives hope that Covid isn't a death sentence for those vulnerable to the virus.
"People have called us a day or two after they got the infusion therapy and said, 'I feel so much better. I'm 100 times better,' and so it's really gone a long way to give patients hope, but it's also a really good line of defense," said Willis.
Willis said a big key to the success of the monoclonal treatment is an early diagnosis of the virus and calling your doctor to get the infusion as soon as possible.