FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – While COVID-19 vaccinations are expanding, doctors say many people who become infected are overlooking a potential beneficial therapy.
Treatment with monoclonal antibodies can help fight COVID-19 in people with mild to moderate infections by easing the symptoms and reducing the risk of hospitalization.
“Not enough doctors are using this therapy, the reason being probably because this therapy has to be done within a controlled environment like a hospital or infusion center,” Dr. Aldo Calvo with Broward Health said. “Many doctors don’t have that ability in their own office. It is a one-hour infusion, there is a post observation period of another hour and in case there’s any adverse events, it has to be done in a controlled environment where we have those medications to reverse those adverse events.”
Calvo said hospitals are partnering with physicians in the community to increase awareness of this therapy, especially as new variants of the virus surface.
And a new study suggests that among people hospitalized for COVID-19, blood levels of five proteins are higher in those who go on to need critical care.
These proteins are associated with a type of immune cell that can cause excessive inflammation and blood clotting in the lungs.
Some of the same proteins are elevated in people with obesity.
If further studies confirm the findings, the discovery could lead to new tests and treatments for severe COVID-19 infections.