New Antibody Treatment Could Help Keep COVID Patients Out Of The Hospital

A new antibody treatment could help positive COVID patients out of the hospital.

Video Transcript

- Colorado's one-day positivity rate yesterday was up above 9%, and that was the highest it's been in months.

- Yeah. We showed you how hospitalizations also continue to go up. Jacqueline Quynh joins us live tonight at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital out in Aurora. And Jacqueline, there are possible treatments, though, to start before you actually end up in the hospital.

JACQUELINE QUYNH: One of the treatments, we've been hearing about since former President Donald Trump actually came down with COVID. And the doctors here want everyone to know that this is available to everyone. We actually talked to the first patient who received it here at UCHealth back in December.

In his 81 years, Gary Springs has seen a lot and been through a lot.

GARY SPRINGS: It's a scary word. I did crypto.

JACQUELINE QUYNH: From his military experience--

GARY SPRINGS: Both of us have pacemakers.

JACQUELINE QUYNH: --to health complications. Then, COVID-19 was another battle he had to fight.

GARY SPRINGS: I felt feverish. I had a slight headache.

JACQUELINE QUYNH: And this time, he was able to receive a life-saving treatment, using monoclonal antibodies.

DR. ADIT GINDE: The difference is, convalescent plasma. Some of them may be good. Some of them may be not so good in terms of antibodies. This is a particular approach where you identify those that are highly potent at neutralizing the virus.

JACQUELINE QUYNH: Dr. Adit Ginde works in emergency medicine at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital. He wants people to know this treatment that's available can prevent hospitalizations.

GARY SPRINGS: But by the next day, I had no symptoms at all.

JACQUELINE QUYNH: Now, this treatment is only effective if COVID is detected early on. Spring's wife, Sharon, also caught COVID-19. She had to be hospitalized for eight days.

GARY SPRINGS: We tried to be so good about it. We didn't leave the house all summer and fall. Our granddaughter did all of our shopping for us.

JACQUELINE QUYNH: It's available to people 65 or older or who have chronic medical conditions.

GARY SPRINGS: So the variants that are here in Colorado right now, these monoclonal antibodies are effective at neutralizing the virus.

JACQUELINE QUYNH: The drug is free, but there is a cost for the infusion. That's covered by private insurance or government insurance, such as Medicaid. In Aurora, I'm Jacqueline Quynh, covering Colorado First.