CBS4's Joan Murray has more on the new monoclonal antibody treatment.
- A new treatment is showing promise against COVID-19 in South Florida.
- It is called monoclonal antibody treatment. CBS4's Joan Murray explains how it works and why it's such a big step in the fight against these new variants.
JOAN MURRAY: It seems like a lifetime ago, but remember last year when former President Trump put a face on monoclonal antibody treatment when he came down with COVID? And the infusion of a single symptom-fighting drug has been used in South Florida with great success, as we saw in January with patient Ellis Mass.
ELLIS MASS: The only thing I can tell you is that within a couple of days, I definitely started feeling better from the COVID. Was that just the COVID running its course, or did the monoclonals help get rid of the virus faster? I can't really say, but I did start getting better pretty much as soon as I had that infusion.
JOAN MURRAY: And, now, Broward Health is upping its game in the COVID fight-- starting right now, offering a revised monoclonal antibody treatment, a combination of two COVID-fighting drugs approved by the FDA for emergency use.
JOSHUA LENCHUS: So the combination of these two agents, these two monoclonal antibodies, should help regardless of the variant that somebody may present with.
JOAN MURRAY: As we now know, the coronavirus has mutated, with strains sometimes more dangerous and getting you sick faster. In Florida, there have been 3,000 cases of the UK variant, under 100 cases of the South African variant, and about two dozen Brazilian strain cases.
JOSHUA LENCHUS: The monoclonal antibody treatment is very unique for patients that have mild to moderate COVID symptoms. They cannot be so severe that they're hospitalized. They don't require any supplemental-- any extra oxygen. It's approved for patients that are age 12 and over that weigh at least 88 pounds but who have a risk of progressing to severe disease.
JOAN MURRAY: So if you are feeling ill, think you may have COVID, talk to your doctor. They can give you a diagnosis and also see if you are eligible for the new treatment.
In Fort Lauderdale, Joan Murray, CBS4 News.