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Local doctor on monoclonal antibodies: ‘It’s given us a new hope’

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 7:53 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The possibility of contracting COVID-19 is higher than ever, but experts say there are some things you can do if you’ve been exposed to help avoid being hospitalized with the virus.

It’s an infusion treatment. Dr. Dharmesh Patel, CEO of Avail Hospital, said monoclonal antibodies are a proactive way to lessen the effects of COVID-19.

“The monoclonal antibody acts to fight the virus itself,” Dr. Patel said. “So, where some people have been vaccinated, and they have developed innate immunity from the vaccination - this is a man-made version of that which then helps attack the virus.”

Dr. Patel explains the treatment is recommended for some patients after they’ve tested positive or have been exposed to COVID-19 to prevent or limit the infection. It could also limit the severity of symptoms in a current case.

“If people take a very proactive approach, if they’re having symptoms or if they’ve been in contact with anyone and if they do get tested, then we can treat them,” Dr. Patel said. “If we can give them this therapy, then it will most likely prevent them from actually having to be hospitalized in the future.”

He said the infusion treatment only takes about an hour, and patients can likely get the therapy the same day they tests positive.

“With monoclonal antibody, it’s given us a new hope as well as a better outlook in terms of how we can treat COVID-19.”

Patel reiterates that the treatment helps avoid hospitalization after getting the virus and still recommends the vaccine to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

In addition to Avail Hospital, the infusion treatment is also offered at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital and CHRISTUS Ochsner.

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