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Hospitals using antibody therapy to help fight virus

JACKSON (AP) — Mississippi hospitals are administering a new antibody therapy to coronavirus patients in hopes that it will improve outcomes and limit hospitalizations as new cases of coronavirus are on the rise.

Monoclonal antibodies were approved on Nov. 21  through emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The therapy can be used by high-risk patients who have tested positive for the virus and have not yet been hospitalized.

The one dose is administered intravenously and can be used in individuals ages 12 or older, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health.

“The goal is to keep them out of the hospital and keep them from decompensating more,” said Dr. Alan Jones, University of Mississippi Medical Center Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Clinical Affairs, last week at a briefing with press.

George Regional Hospital in Lucedale administered the treatment for the first time to two COVID-19 positive patients last Friday, WLOX-TV reports. Days later, both patients doing well with few symptoms, George Regional Hospital Chief of Staff Dr. Jay Pinkerton said.

Pinkerton said the treatment is the latest in a string of “good science” coming out to help physicians fight the virus.

Wiggins Mayor Joel Miles, who tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month, was treated with monoclonal antibodies on Monday. Miles told WLOX that a day later he experienced his first fever-free day since November 14th.

The state health department said Thursday that Mississippi, with a population of about 3 million, has reported more than 147,000 virus cases and more than 3,760 deaths from COVID-19.

 

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